SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OVI-097
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may also have been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into the serious injuries a 24-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.
Notification of the SIUOn April 1, 2022, at 1:08 a.m., Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of an injury.
PRP reported that on March 31, 2022, at 8:16 p.m., police officers had spotted a stolen vehicle in the area of Torbram Road and Steeles Avenue in Brampton. The police officers followed the vehicle for about 12 minutes through Brampton and Mississauga until the vehicle side-swiped a transport truck at Dixie Road and Mid-Way Boulevard in Mississauga, then caught fire.
The driver of the stolen vehicle, identified as the Complainant, was arrested and taken by ambulance to the Etobicoke General Hospital (EGH) where he was diagnosed with three fractured ribs and a fractured pelvis.
PRP advised that no use of force was deployed during the arrest.
The scene was secured, body-worn camera (BWC) recordings were available, and the involved police officers were segregated at the police station.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/01/2022 at 1:55 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/01/2022 at 2:51 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):24-year-old male; interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on April 1, 2022.
Civilian Witness (CW)CW Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on April 1, 2022.
Subject Official (SO) SO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on April 2, 2022.
The Scene This incident occurred on the southbound lanes of Dixie Road in Mississauga, just south of the traffic signal-controlled intersection with Mid-Way Boulevard. Dixie Road was a six-lane asphalt paved roadway with the north and southbound lanes separated by a raised concrete median. The southbound portion where the collision occurred had the concrete median separation from northbound traffic on the left (east) side and concrete curb on the right (west). The posted speed limit was 70 km/h with the road in good repair. The area was well lit by artificial lighting.
The following scene diagram depicts the positions where the involved vehicles came to rest, tire marks and other evidence.
Forensic Evidence The evidence indicated the Dodge Charger, operated by the Complainant, moved from the left lane in the area of impact, into the centre lane where it collided with the tractor section of the tractor-trailer.
Tire marks on the roadway indicated both vehicles diverted to the right as they travelled south and crossed into the right lane before they mounted the curb and travelled across the grass on the west side of Dixie Road.
The Charger continued south until it collided with a tree between the road and the east side of a building at 6575 Davand Drive.
Damage to the right side of the Charger was consistent with contact damage from a collision with the tractor-trailer. Additional damage to the vehicle, including front end damage and deployment of numerous air bags, was consistent with the subsequent collision with the tree.
Scene evidence was also consistent with a fire in the Charger. Fire extinguishers were observed on the ground near the Charger and fire suppressant discharge was visible on the car.
Two fully marked PRP cruisers, both Dodge Chargers, were parked on the west side of Dixie Road. The vehicles, examined at the scene, revealed no recent collision damage.
Figure 1 – Front end vehicle damage to the Charger
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
PRP Communications RecordingsAt 8:16 p.m., WO #1 reported that a licence plate that had been reported stolen was on a black Dodge Charger on Torbram Road, driving towards Steeles Avenue.
In several radio transmissions, WO #1 reported the Charger was driving erratically. The vehicle was said to be swerving within three lanes and the Complainant driving the vehicle was believed to be impaired. In another transmission, the officer reported the Charger was swerving on the road while southbound on Goreway Drive.
In some transmissions, WO #1 reported their speeds ranging from 60, 70 and 80 km/h on various streets along the route.
A siren was heard in the background during only one transmission at 8:21 p.m.
At 8:27 p.m., WO #1 reported the Charger was in front of WO #2.
At 8:28 p.m., WO #1 reported the Charger had collided with a truck while travelling south on Dixie Road.
When asked about an attempt to stop the vehicle, WO #1 said they made no attempt to stop the Charger and that they were just behind it.
Throughout the radio broadcasts related to their involvement with the Dodge Charger, WO #1 spoke in a clear, calm, steady voice. There was a slight rise in pitch when, at 8:26 p.m., the Complainant drove through the Dixie Mart Plaza lot, and then again when the Complainant collided with the truck.
BWC RecordingsPRP released copies to the SIU of BWC recordings from devices worn by WO #1, the SO and WO #2.
WO #2’s BWC started recording at 8:28 p.m. as his cruiser came to a stop on Dixie Road. As he exited the cruiser, another cruiser, now known to have been operated by the SO, was visible stopped at the curb with emergency lighting activated. WO #2 grabbed a fire extinguisher and approached the Dodge Charger that was aflame while the SO was positioned by the vehicle’s driver door. WO #2 approached the vehicle, and, within three seconds, the SO grabbed the Complainant’s arm, pulled him out of the vehicle and dragged him away from the vehicle.
After the BWC audio activated, another police officer was seen with a fire extinguisher, and the involved police officers tended to the Complainant and confirmed the CW was uninjured.
WO #1’s BWC started recording at 8:30 p.m. Post collision, he walked to the tractor trailer while emergency lighting from several police vehicles was seen flashing in the night.
WO #1, SO and WO #2 removed the Complainant from the vehicle and placed him in a recovery position on the sidewalk.
The SO’s BWC started recording at 8:29 p.m. as the Complainant lay on his right side on the sidewalk with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Another officer’s BWC captured his arrival at the collision scene after the SO and WO #1’s, and WO #2’s, cruisers.
In-car Camera System (ICCS)PRP cruisers were not equipped with ICCSs when this incident occurred.
Global Positioning System (GPS) DataGPS data from the SO’s cruiser revealed that on portions of the route the vehicle reached speeds over 100 km/h and was recorded at speeds over 120 km/h at around 8:24 p.m. and again at around 8:26 p.m.
Notably, at 8:28 p.m., the cruiser was travelling at 100 and 103 km/h on Mid-Way Boulevard before turning right onto southbound Dixie Road, where it was recorded at 101, 103 and 109 km/h less than ten seconds before coming to a stop in the area of the collision at 8:28:34 p.m.
On Board Vehicle Video RecordingThe Freightliner tractor truck operated by the CW was equipped with an onboard camera. Inquiries made by the SIU of the truck’s owner revealed the camera was not connected to the data storage system.
Surveillance Video RecordingsA canvass conducted by the SIU revealed no surveillance video recordings of the incident
Materials Obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the PRP between April 1, 2022, and May 5, 2022:
- GPS data – the SO’s vehicle;
- BWC footage;
- Duty Roster;
- Notes- WO #3;
- Notes- WO #1;
- Notes- WO #2;
- Communications recordings;
- Directive - Suspect Apprehension Pursuit;
- Event Chronology; and
- Occurrence Details.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following record from other sources:
- Medical Records – EGH.
The Complainant was parked in a stolen vehicle – a Dodge Charger – in a parking lot on the southwest corner of Torbram Road and Steeles Avenue, Brampton, when he noticed a PRP cruiser in the vicinity. Uncertain whether he was the focus of the officers’ presence, the Complainant decided to drive away.
The officers – the SO in the driver’s seat with WO #1 as the front passenger – had indeed turned their attention to the Charger. They were on routine patrol and had run a check on the Charger’s licence plates, revealing that they had recently been reported stolen in Halton. They decided to approach the Charger in their vehicle and then follow it as it began to travel onto northbound Torbram Road towards Steeles Avenue.
The Complainant turned right to travel east on Steeles Avenue, thereafter leading the cruiser on a circuitous route through the area that saw him swerving all over the road and failing to stop at red lights and stop signs. After about 16 kilometres of travel, the Complainant found himself southbound on Dixie Road south of Mid-Way Boulevard when he veered to the right and struck the driver’s side of a tractor-trailer. His vehicle briefly returned to its lane before it lurched right and again struck the tractor-trailer in the area of its front left fender. That collision resulted in both vehicles travelling off the road onto the property of the business at 6575 Davand Drive.
The Charger came to rest just south of the tractor-trailer. It had struck a tree and erupted into flames.
The SO and WO #1 had observed the collision and brought their cruiser to a stop by the involved vehicles. With the assistance of another officer who had joined in the efforts to stop the Complainant – WO #2 – the officers extricated the Complainant from the Charger and extinguished the fire.
The Complainant was arrested and taken to hospital from the scene. He was diagnosed with multiple rib fractures and a fractured pelvis.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured in the collision.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
Section 128(13), Highway Traffic Act – Police vehicles and speeding
(b) a police department vehicle being used in the lawful performance of a police officer’s duties.
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) of the Criminal Code. As an offence of penal negligence, a simple departure from a reasonable standard of care will not suffice to give rise to liability. Rather, the offence is predicated, in part, on a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was a want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his cruiser, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to the collision. In my view, there was not.
The SO was in the execution of his lawful duties when he and his partner, WO #1, decided to pursue the Complainant out of the parking lot. They had grounds to believe that the Complainant was operating a stolen vehicle. Very shortly after that, based on what they observed of the Complainant’s driving behaviour – swerving across lanes of traffic and disregarding red lights and stop signs – they also had cause to believe that he was an impaired driver.
I am also satisfied that the SO exercised due care and attention for public safety as he followed the Complainant over the course of about ten minutes and 16 kilometres. For most of that time, it appears the officers were well back of the Charger – an intentional decision that WO #1, as the senior officer, had made so as not to unduly push or aggravate the Complainant’s reckless driving. There were times that the SO travelled at speeds in excess of the speed limit – at times, more than twice the limit. The GPS data also suggest that the officer did not come to a full stop at some if not all of the red lights and stop signs he encountered, which he clearly ought to have done in compliance with law. That said, section 128(13)(b) of the Highway Traffic Act exempts police officers from the speed limitations while engaged in duty. Nor is there evidence that the officer’s conduct directly endangered other traffic on the roadway. In fact, the environmental conditions at the time were not prohibitive of a pursuit - traffic was light, the weather dry and clear, and the route of the pursuit largely industrial in nature – particularly considered against the dangers being created by the Complainant’s driving. Simply put, there was a real imperative to stopping the Complainant that was not outweighed by the risks to public safety associated with the SO’s driving.
In the result, as I am satisfied that the SO did not transgress the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: July 29, 2022
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.