SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OCI-106


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Mandate of the SIU

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian law enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving an official where there has been death, serious injury, the discharge of a firearm at a person or an allegation of sexual assault. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019 (SIU Act), officials are defined as police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act. The SIU’s jurisdiction covers more than 50 municipal, regional and provincial police services across Ontario.

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.

Information Restrictions

Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019

Pursuant 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 Act

Pursuant 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. 
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following: 
  • 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, 2004

Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.

Other proceedings, processes, and investigations

Information 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.

Mandate Engaged

Pursuant to section 15 of the SIU Act, the SIU may investigate the conduct of officials, be they police officers, special constables of the Niagara Parks Commission or peace officers under the Legislative Assembly Act, that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a firearm at a person.

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 injury a 53-year-old man (the “Complainant”) suffered.

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU

On April 8, 2022, at 6:37 a.m., the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) notified the SIU of an injury sustained by the Complainant.

According to the DRPS, the Complainant was apprehended under the Mental Health Act (MHA) and taken to Lakeridge Health (LH), Oshawa. While the Complainant was restrained on a gurney, he began to struggle with hospital staff. Police officers got involved and the Complainant ended up with a fractured left ring finger. The police officers involved were Subject Officer (SO) #1, SO #2, Witness Officials (WO) #3 and WO #4.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 04/08/2022 at 7:59 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/08/2022 at 9:23 a.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

53-year-old male; interviewed and medical records obtained

The Complainant was interviewed on April 11, 2022.

Subject Officials (SO)

SO #1 Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right.
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject official’s legal right

The subject official was interviewed on April 28, 2022.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Interviewed and statement and notes received and reviewed
WO #2 Interviewed and statement and notes received and reviewed
WO #3 Interviewed and statement and notes received and reviewed
WO #4 Interviewed and statement and notes received and reviewed

The witness officials were interviewed on April 13, 2022.


The Scene

The events in question occurred in an ambulance bay of LH, 1 Hospital Court, Oshawa.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [1]

The SIU obtained a copy of the DRPS communications recordings pertinent to the incident. The following is a summary of the recordings.

On April 8, 2022, at 4:06 a.m., a woman called 911 to report that the Complainant was speaking about committing suicide.

DRPS police officers responded to the Complainant’s address.

At 4:40 a.m., WO #1 notified the dispatcher that the Complainant was in custody under the MHA.

At 4:46 a.m., SO #1 asked DRPS communications to contact LH to arrange a secure room for the Complainant.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU obtained the following materials and documents from DRPS between April 12, 2022, and April 27, 2022:
  • Computer-assisted Dispatch report;
  • Communications recordings;
  • Notes – WO #1;
  • Notes – WO #2;
  • Notes – WO #3;
  • Notes – WO #4;
  • Policy-Persons in Crisis and Attempted Suicide;
  • Policy-Police Use of Force;
  • Policy-Use of Force;
  • General Occurrence Report – WO #2;
  • MHA Apprehension Report – WO #1;
  • Police Witness Statement – WO #3; and
  • Police Witness Statement – WO #4.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
  • Medical Records from LH.

Incident Narrative

The following scenario emerges from the evidence collected by the SIU, which included interviews with the Complainant and SO #1. As was his legal right, the other subject official – SO #2 – chose not to interview with the SIU or authorize the release of his notes.

In the early morning of April 8, 2022, DRPS officers, including SO #1 and SO #2, were dispatched to a residence in the area of Rossland Road East and Wilson Road, Oshawa, to check on the Complainant’s well-being. They had been contacted by a family member of the Complainant reporting that the Complainant was speaking of suicide. The officers arrived to find an intoxicated and agitated Complainant. After a period, the Complainant calmed and was taken into custody without incident.

Following his apprehension, the Complainant was transported to LH for examination. His agitation returned during the trip to the hospital as he banged his handcuffed hands on the Plexiglas partition of the cruiser. Once at the hospital, the Complainant refused to unclasp his hands so they could be affixed to the hospital bed restraints.

SO #1, with the assistance of SO #2 and hospital security personnel, attempted to pry open the Complainant’s hands. In the process, the Complainant suffered a broken left finger.

The Complainant was subsequently sedated, restrained to the bed, and brought into the hospital.

Relevant Legislation

Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of persons acting under authority

25 (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law
(a) as a private person,
(b) as a peace officer or public officer,
(c) in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or
(d) by virtue of his office,
is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

Section 17, Mental Health Act -- Action by police officer

17 Where a police officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a person is acting or has acted in a disorderly manner and has reasonable cause to believe that the person,
(a) has threatened or attempted or is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to himself or herself;
(b) has behaved or is behaving violently towards another person or has caused or is causing another person to fear bodily harm from him or her; or
(c) has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for himself or herself,
and in addition the police officer is of the opinion that the person is apparently suffering from mental disorder of a nature or quality that likely will result in,
(d) serious bodily harm to the person;
(e) serious bodily harm to another person; or
(f) serious physical impairment of the person
and that it would be dangerous to proceed under section 16, the police officer may take the person in custody to an appropriate place for examination by a physician.

Analysis and Director's Decision

The Complainant was seriously injured in Oshawa by DRPS officers on April 8, 2022. The SIU was notified of the incident and initiated an investigation. SO #1 and SO #2 were identified as subject officials. The investigation is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that either subject official committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s injury.

Pursuant to section 25(1) of the Criminal Code, police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary in the execution of an act that they were required or authorized to do by law.

The Complainant’s apprehension was authorized under section 17 of the MHA and the officers were within their rights in taking him into custody. By words and deeds, it was apparent that the Complainant was of unsound mind, at risk of self-harm, and in need of medical attention. Once lawfully in police custody, the officers were further entitled to exercise control over the Complainant’s movements in order to ensure his safety and the safety of others as he was processed according to law. In light of the Complainant’s agitation, I am satisfied that this entailed his restraint in a hospital bed.

With respect to the force used by SO #1 and SO #2 as they attempted to secure the Complainant’s hands to the bed, the evidence falls short of establishing it was excessive. Rather, the injury to the Complainant’s fingers appears to have been the unfortunate result of opposing forces at work – the Complainant attempting to keep his hands clasped together and the officers trying to manually force them open. In this process, there is no suggestion of any untoward or heavy-handed tactics being brought to bear by either officer.

In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officials comported themselves unlawfully in their dealings with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: August 5, 2022

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
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.