SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OCI-115
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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 serious injuries sustained by a 38-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn April 19, 2022, at 3:06 p.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.
According the PRP, on April 19, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., PRP officers had responded to an incident involving a man [now known to be the Complainant] in mental health crisis at Erin Mills Parkway and Highway 403. The Complainant was being driven by his mother, the Civilian Witness (CW), to the hospital. He had exited the car and attempted to jump to Highway 403 below. Two PRP officers arrived and attempted to hold onto the Complainant to prevent him from falling to the roadway below, but lost their grip. The Complainant fell onto the westbound lanes of the 403 from the southbound lane of Erin Mills Parkway. He was transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with non-life-threatening injuries.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/19/2022 at 4:48 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/20/2022 at 9:24 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):Declined an interview
Civilian WitnessesCW Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on April 21, 2022.
Subject OfficialsSO #1 Declined interview and to provide 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 Scene The scene presented at Erin Mills Parkway in the vicinity of the southbound curb lane over the Highway 403 eastbound lanes.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Police Communications RecordingsOn January 21, 2022, the PRP provided the SIU a copy of the police transmissions pertinent to their engagement with the Complainant.
The CW called 911 and told the call-taker, “My son is going to kill himself, jump off the highway or somewhere down here.” She was on Erin Mills Parkway close to Highway 403. The CW told the 911 call-taker that she had taken her son, the Complainant, to the CVH [Credit Valley Hospital] but he refused to go into the hospital.
The CW reiterated to the 911 communicator, “Can you hurry please, in one second, he is gonna jump and die.” She again stated, “He is gonna jump off the 401, 403.” She told the 911 call-taker that her son was suicidal, and had given that information at the hospital.
PRP dispatch broadcast a call involving a suicidal man in the area of Highway 403 and Erin Mills Parkway area. Several police officers attended the area. PRP dispatch provided details of the incident, and indicated that the Complainant threatened to jump of the bridge. PRP dispatch radioed a description for the Complainant as tall, slim and of mixed ethnicity, and wearing blue jeans and a colourful jacket.
PRP officers radioed that the Complainant had fallen on the highway. They noted that he was conscious, breathing and in pain, and requested a rush on an ambulance.
Body-worn Camera (BWC) FootageOn January 21, 2022, PRP provided the SIU with BWC footage. The interaction on the Erin Mills Parkway overpass was captured by the BWCs of SO #2 and SO #1. The following is a summary of the footage.
At 1:36 p.m., SO #2 arrived on scene and radioed, “He is southbound lane.”  SO #2 told the PRP communications centre, “I am [police code], myself, and another unit will attend.”
At 1:36:26 p.m., SO #2 got out of his police vehicle and spotted the Complainant. He was climbing over the overpass railing looking down onto the eastbound lanes of Highway 403. SO #2 ran towards the Complainant, announcing his name several times as, “Hey [the Complainant], [the Complainant]…please [the Complainant], yo brother.”
At 1:36:28 p.m., SO #2 reached the Complainant. He had already climbed over the railing, and was hanging holding on to the overpass railing, looking down on the Highway 403 eastbound lanes.
SO #2 used his right hand to grab the Complainant’s left arm. SO #2 used his left hand to place a grip on part of the Complainant’s clothing. SO #2 shouted: “[The Complainant], please bro.”
At 1:36:30 p.m., SO #1 arrived - he ran towards SO #2 and the Complainant.
At 1:36:39 p.m., the Complainant was hanging in the air, looking down on the eastbound lanes of Highway 403. SO #1 used both of his hands to grip onto the Complainant’s left arm, and assisted SO #2 in attempting to pull the Complainant up. The Complainant did not appear to make any attempts to come up towards the police officers’ direction. The police officers pled with the Complainant to come up as their grip was slipping.
Within seconds of the officers’ arrival, the Complainant fell from the overpass onto Highway 403, landing on his legs first and then on his back two lanes over from the HOV [high occupancy vehicle] lane. The Complainant narrowly missed colliding with several oncoming eastbound vehicles. Both police officers ran southbound on Erin Mills Parkway towards Highway 403.
At 1:37:38 p.m., an ambulance was requested as a rush priority. The Complainant was laying on the ground on his back, slightly rolled to his right side. He was screaming in pain. SO #2 tried to comfort and console the Complainant, “You are OK, hang tight man, you are OK.” SO #1 told the Complainant, “Try to relax my friend and take it easy.” Both police officers checked for injuries.
Between 1:37:52 p.m., and 1:40:00 p.m., police officers attempted to calm the Complainant by talking to him and telling him to take deep breaths. Police officers put a jacket and warmer garments on the Complainant to keep him warm, and told him to relax and that an ambulance was on its way shortly. More police officers arrived, and assisted in scene containment.
SO #2 and SO #1 remained sitting next to the Complainant. They continuously checked on his well-being and were communicating with him to calm him.
At 1:42:01 p.m., SO #1 told a police officer, “We had him, and he slipped out of his coat,” and, “He was swinging at us,” and wanted “us” to drop him.
At 1:47:01 p.m., an ambulance arrived, and paramedics attended to the Complainant. He was put on a gurney and taken into the ambulance.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the PRP between April 21, 2022, and April 29, 2022:
- BWC footage;
- Incident History;
- Occurrence Report;
- Communications recordings;
- Person Detail Report – the Complainant; and
- Procedure – Mental Health Policy.
The Complainant was in crisis in the afternoon of April 19, 2022. Having travelled with his mother to the CVH to seek medical help, the Complainant refused to enter and then made his way on foot south a short distance onto the Erin Mills Parkway overpass above Highway 403. His mother called 911 to report that the Complainant was suicidal and about to jump onto the highway. Police were dispatched to the overpass.
SO #2 was the first to arrive on the overpass. He parked his cruiser in the southward curb lane of Erin Mills Parkway, just north of the Complainant’s location. The Complainant climbed over the overpass railing above the eastbound lanes of Highway 403 and was about to jump off when he was grabbed by the officer. Within seconds, SO #1 arrived on scene and ran to assist SO #2, also grabbing hold of the Complainant’s jacket. The officers’ pleaded with the Complainant to return to safety. It appeared that the Complainant, using his right hand, attempted on a couple of occasions to bat the officers’ hands away. He eventually slipped out of his jacket and fell onto the highway.
The Complainant landed on his legs and fell immediately onto his back. The officers ran to the embankment at the southern edge of the overpass and then down the embankment to the highway. There, they comforted the Complainant while awaiting the arrival of paramedics.
The Complainant was transported to hospital and diagnosed with multiple fractures.
Section 219 and 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing bodily harm
(a) in doing anything, or(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years; or(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 221 of the Criminal Code. The offence is reserved for serious cases of neglect that demonstrate a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. A simple want of care will not suffice to give rise to liability; rather, what is required, in part, is conduct amounting to a marked and substantial departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the issue is whether there was any want of care in the manner in which SO #2 or SO #1 engaged with the Complainant, sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction, that caused or contributed to his fall. In my view, there was not.
SO #2 and SO #1 were lawfully placed throughout their dealings with the Complainant. Aware that the Complainant was on the overpass with designs of jumping, they were duty bound upon dispatch to attend the scene to do what they could to protect the Complainant.
Once there, the officers comported themselves with due care and regard for the Complainant’s well-being. Arriving in the vicinity of the Complainant and finding him climbing over the overpass railing, there was little SO #2 could do other than what he did. He ran to the Complainant and for a while was able, for a period with the help of SO #1, to keep him from falling before losing hold. There was no time for negotiations of any type. After the fall, the officers acted with care and compassion in arranging for prompt medical attention while consoling the Complainant on the roadway. On this record, there is no evidence of any want of care on the part of either subject official.
In the result, as there is no reason to believe that SO #2 or SO #1 transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law in their brief engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with charges against either officer. The file is closed.
Date: August 17, 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]
- 2) This likely refers to SO #2 providing location of the Complainant, on Erin Mills Parkway and Highway 403. [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.