SIU Director’s Report - Case # 22-OVI-120
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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 injury suffered by an 18-year-old male (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn April 30, 2022, at 5:37 a.m., the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) contacted the SIU and reported the following information.
On April 30, 2022, at approximately 3:33 a.m., police officers responded to a home invasion in Bowmanville. The suspects were unsuccessful in getting into the home and fled in a vehicle. Police officers spotted the vehicle on Bowmanville Avenue and began to pursue it. The pursuit ended in a Canadian Tire parking lot at 2000 Green Road, where the suspect vehicle had struck a light standard. The occupants of the vehicle attempted to flee on foot but were apprehended. One man complained of a sore arm and was taken to Bowmanville Hospital where it was determined to be broken.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 04/30/2022 at 7:09 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 04/30/2022 at 7:48 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):18-year-old male; interviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on April 30, 2022.
Civilian Witnesses (CW) CW #1 Not interviewed; declined
CW #2 Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on April 30, 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
WO #4 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on one or the other of May 4, 2022, and May 20, 2022.
The Scene SIU forensic investigators processed the scene.
Two thousand Green Road was the address of a large plaza occupied by commercial retail outlets surrounded by their associated parking lot. Immediate to the area was a Canadian Tire, the front façade of which faced south, toward Highway 2. There was an entrance to the plaza from Green Road, east of the Canadian Tire store. That entrance was at the controlled intersection of Green Road and Stevens Road. Green Road travelled north and south along the commercial property’s border, nearest the Canadian Tire.
The parking lot itself was of a design common to large commercial plazas. It was paved and painted with indicators for traffic control, direction, and parking. The surface of the lot was populated with curbs, and medians of grass, trees and flower beds. It was further populated with stop signs, light standards, and occasional speed control bumps.
The forensic analysis of the parking lot entrance at Green Road and Stevens Road revealed heavy gouge marks in the pavement which suggested a vehicle had struck the pavement with its undercarriage. Further west of those marks were tire marks and more gouges that continued west into the lot, yawed right, striking the curbs, medians and sidewalks along its path, and culminating at the resting point of an un-plated Nissan Altima.
The vehicle was oriented nose faced northeast, near a light standard. The light standard and the vehicle both bore damage consistent with the vehicle having collided with the light standard. The vehicles front end was heavily damaged. There was no other damage to suggest the vehicle had collided with any other vehicle or object.
The image that follows captured the state of the vehicle upon examination.
Figure 1 – The scene
On the front passenger seat of the vehicle sat a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that had been rendered safe before SIU forensic analysis. A loaded pistol magazine and two loose 9 mm cartridges lay beside the pistol.
Physical Evidence In addition to the scene, SIU forensic investigators examined and photo-documented the police vehicles operated by the involved police officers, and the use of force equipment carried by each.
None of those items held any characteristics of evidence and none were collected.
Police VehiclesAll the police vehicles involved were examined and photographed. All were marked police vehicles displaying the graphics adopted by the service, all were equipped with emergency lighting and siren systems that were operational during examination, and none had evidence of collision damage that would suggest contact with another vehicle.
Global Positioning System (GPS) DataAnalysis was made of the GPS data associated with the vehicles of the SO and WO #4 - the police officers who drove the first and second police vehicles that followed the suspect vehicle, respectively. That GPS data were assessed against the video record of the suspect vehicle’s collision with the light standard.
The analysis estimated where those two police vehicles were at the moment of the collision. Because the analyst could see the time stamp on the video and, simultaneously, because he knew where the SO was after he entered the parking lot, he compared that to the time stamp on the police vehicle’s GPS.
The SO was westbound on Stevens Road (from Bowmanville Avenue), west of Clarington Boulevard, driving between 106 and 130 km/h, when the suspect vehicle struck a pole. The officer was about 375 metres east of the collision when it occurred.
WO #4 was also westbound on Stevens Road (from Bowmanville Avenue). He was east of Clarington Boulevard, driving between 97 and 116 km/h, when the suspect vehicle struck the pole. He was about 500 metres east of the collision and 125 metres behind the SO.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Communication RecordingsThe police communications were requested by the SIU on May 2, 2022, and received by the SIU on May 12, 2022.
On April 30, 2022, at 3:33:07 a.m., a female called 911 and asked for the police to attend her residence. Two or three men had entered her house, gone into the basement with a gun, and left in a vehicle.
Police Radio Recordings
On April 30, 2022, at 3:34:48 a.m., a dispatcher made a transmission directing police to an address for a break and enter by four men, one of whom had a gun. The men went into the basement before they left in a vehicle.
Police officers [now known to be WO #2 and WO #3] responded. Police officers [now known to be the SO, WO #1 and WO #4] also asked to be assigned to the call.
The SO reported he was following a black Nissan Altima with no lights on, on Highway 2. He reported the car was west on Stevens Road and, “Bombing through the Canadian Tire plaza,” before he broadcast they, “Ditched,” the car and two men [now known to be CW #1 and the Complainant] ran from the vehicle.
The dispatcher directed police to the Canadian Tire parking lot.
WO #4 requested an ambulance stage around the corner because a man [now known to be the Complainant] had complained of an injured arm, and CW #1 and the Complainant were on the ground in the prone position.
WO #3 then requested the ambulance attend because the Complainant’s arm was, “Pretty messed up.” The dispatcher responded that the ambulance would be there in five minutes.
The next broadcast was a police officer requesting assistance at the suspect’s vehicle because there was another man [now known to be CW #2] in the car. The following broadcast indicated that CW #2 was in custody, before WO #4 asked for another ambulance for CW #1, who complained of chest pain.
The final broadcast was the SO reporting all three men needed to be taken to the hospital.
Canadian Tire Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) RecordingOn April 30, 2022, the SIU collected four pieces of CCTV footage from the Canadian Tire at 2000 Green Road. The time stamps were not consistent among the video clips. None contained an audio component.
On April 30, 2022, at 3:40:55 a.m., the suspect vehicle travelled westbound on Stevens Road. At 3:40:56 a.m., it entered the intersection of Stevens Road and Green Road, running through the red light. That intersection was a T-intersection with the entrance to the Canadian Tire parking lot where Stevens Road ended. The vehicle travelled at a high rate of speed and entered the lot. At 3:40:59 a.m., it hit a raised edge, like a speed bump, took to the air, and struck the concrete base of a light standard at the driver side.
At 3:41:03 a.m., a man [now known to be the Complainant] exited the rear window on the driver side, fell to the ground, stood up, and ran westbound across the parking lot. His right arm dangled in an unnatural way at his side as he ran.
At 3:41:06 a.m., a man [now known to be CW #1] exited from the front passenger door, and ran around the back end of the vehicle and westbound across the parking lot.
At 3:41:11 a.m., a police vehicle [now known to be operated by the SO] entered the parking lot with its emergency lights activated, and travelled westbound after the two men.
At 3:41:16 a.m., second police vehicle [now known to be operated by WO #4] entered the parking lot with its emergency lights activated. It too travelled westbound after the two men.
At 3:41:18 a.m., the Complainant and CW #1 exited the camera’s field of view.
At 3:41:20 a.m., that first police vehicle exited the field of view and, at 3:41:24 a.m., so did the second.
At 3:41:52 a.m., a third police vehicle entered the parking lot with its emergency lights activated. That police vehicle travelled westbound and exited the camera’s field of view.
At 3:45:20 a.m., a man [not identified during this investigation] exited from the passenger side of the suspect car, stood beside the vehicle, and looked around. At 3:45:48 a.m., he got back into the car. He exited again, at 3:46:48 a.m., opened the rear passenger door, and leaned into the vehicle. At 3:47:35 a.m., he stood, walked around, and then leaned into the car again. At 3:48:04 a.m., he stood, closed the vehicle door, and ran eastbound to the driveway exit of the parking lot and southbound, around the corner, onto Stevens Road.
At 3:48:30 a.m., a police vehicle entered the camera’s field of view, travelled eastbound through the parking lot, and stopped facing southeast towards the suspect vehicle. At 3:48:39 a.m., a police officer exited that police vehicle, drew his weapon, and pointed it at the car. At 3:49:06 a.m., a second police officer entered the camera frame and walked eastbound, towards the police vehicle. The police officers approached the car, cautiously. A man [now known to be CW #2] was assisted from the car through the driver side window by a police officer, searched, handcuffed behind his back, and assisted to a seated position on a nearby curb.
At 3:34:44 a.m., two men [now known to be the Complainant and CW #1] entered the camera’s recorded field of view, running westbound, and exited the field of view.
At 3:34:50 a.m., a police vehicle [now known to be operated by the SO] entered the field of view, travelled westbound across the frame and, at 3:34:53 a.m., exited the field of view. At 3:34:55 a.m., the police vehicle [now known to be operated by WO #4] entered the camera’s view and travelled westbound across the frame. At 3:35:33 a.m., a third police vehicle entered the field of view and travelled westbound across the frame. At 3:42:46 a.m., a police vehicle entered the recorded field of view from the top left corner of the screen, travelled eastbound, and stopped on a southeastern angle. A police officer exited the vehicle and was joined by another police officer. The two exited the bottom left of the camera’s field of view.
At 3:46:38 a.m., a man [now known to be CW #2] was brought into the camera’s view and assisted to a seated position on the curb.
On April 30, 2022, at 3:34:52 a.m., two men [now known to be the Complainant and CW #1] entered the camera’s field of view from the right, running westbound, and exited the field of view.
At 3:34:55 a.m., a police vehicle [now known to be operated by the SO] entered the field of view, from the right, and stopped at the west entrance to Canadian Tire. The SO exited the police vehicle and walked westbound with his weapon drawn, pointed in front of him.
At 3:34:58 a.m., a police vehicle [now known to be operated by WO #4] entered the camera’s field of view, from the right, travelled westbound and exited the field of view.
At 3:35:33 a.m., a third police vehicle entered the camera’s field of view, from the right, travelled westbound and exited the field of view.
On April 30, 2022, at 3:35:01 a.m., two men [now known to be the Complainant and CW #1] entered the camera’s field of view, ran westbound, and stopped at the edge of the Canadian Tire garage. At 3:35:06 a.m., a police vehicle entered the field of view and stopped at the corner of the Canadian Tire garage. At 3:35:18 a.m., the Complainant and CW #1 sat on the ground, and a police officer [now known to be WO #4] exited the police vehicle with his weapon drawn and stood on the driver side of the vehicle at its hood. At 3:35:29 a.m., a second police officer [now known to be the SO] walked into the field of view with his weapon drawn.
At 3:35:40 a.m., a second police vehicle entered the camera’s field of view, travelled westbound, and parked on a northwestern angle facing the garage. At 3:35:48 a.m., the front corner of a third police vehicle entered the lower right of the camera’s field of view. At 3:35:52 a.m., a police officer exited and stood at the edge of the vehicle.
Three police officers approached the police pick-up truck and stood behind it. For the remainder of the video, the police officers circled the pick-up truck, approached the Complainant and CW #1, and milled about. Due to the flashing lights on the police vehicles and the angle at which the pick-up truck rested, there was not a clear view of the interactions between the Complainant, CW #1, and the police officers.
Body-worn Camera (BWC) Footage
The BWC footage of WO #4 was requested on May 2, 2022, and received by the SIU on May 12, 2022.
The footage started April 30, 2022, at 3:40:38 a.m. It opened with a view inside WO #4’s police vehicle as it travelled westbound on Stevens Road. The vehicle’s emergency lights were operating. The view out the windshield of the police vehicle did not show either the suspect vehicle or any police vehicles.
At 3:40:53 a.m., the vehicle travelled through a red light at the T-intersection of Stevens Road and Green Road, and into the Canadian Tire parking lot. At 3:41:03 a.m., the vehicle passed a stopped police vehicle, on its right, at the front entrance of Canadian Tire.
At 3:41:08 a.m., the video audio was activated.
At 3:41:11 a.m., WO #4 shouted, “Show me your hands,” as he held his firearm in his right hand and pointed out the open passenger side window. At 3:41:13 a.m., he shouted, “Hands up right now, get down on the ground.” Two men [now known to be CW #1 and the Complainant] stood with their hands up before they sat on the ground. WO #4 exited his police vehicle and made a broadcast on his police radio that, “I’ve got two males here at the Canadian Tire at gunpoint.” WO #4 held his firearm in front of him in two hands as he stood by the driver side, front end of his police vehicle, and said “Get down on the ground, I’ll look at your arm later.” The Complainant shouted, “Help me, help me.” WO #3 approached from the left side of the video view as he walked with his weapon drawn and pointed in front of him. WO #4 told CW #1 and the Complainant to lie on the ground. The Complainant said, “My arm is messed up, I can’t do it,” and tried to roll onto his stomach. He cried out as he tried.
The police officers repeatedly commanded CW #1 and the Complainant to lie on their stomachs and show their hands. The Complainant said, “My arm is messed up, please help me.”
At 3:43:07 a.m., WO #4 made a police radio broadcast requesting an ambulance stand by around the corner before he and WO #3 discussed how to approach the Complainant and CW #1; they had yet to satisfy themselves they were unarmed.
At 3:45:27 a.m., the police officers approached CW #1 and the Complainant. WO #4 held a flashlight over the men as WO #3 handcuffed CW #1’s left wrist. At 3:45:55 a.m., WO #4 said, “I think his arm might be broken,” before he used his handcuffs to handcuff CW #1’s right wrist and attach it to the handcuff WO #3 had attached to his left.
The Complainant laid on his left side, his left arm stretched in front of him, his right arm hanging unnaturally behind his body.
WO #1 and the SO assisted WO #4 in searching the Complainant. WO #1 held the Complainant’s left arm out in front of him and the SO had a hand on his right side as WO #4 searched the Complainant’s pockets.
At 3:48:18 a.m., WO #4 and the SO rolled CW #1 onto his back and assisted him to his feet. CW #1 complained of pain in his shoulders. The SO and WO #4 escorted CW #1 to WO #4’s police vehicle where WO #4 asked his name and date of birth.
At 3:55:01 a.m., the camera turned to show the Complainant lying on the ground. WO #1 and WO #2 stood beside him.
At 3:56:12 a.m., WO #4 requested a second ambulance for CW #1 who complained of chest pain and had a “bad heart”.
At 3:56:37 a.m., WO #4 informed CW #1 he was in custody for a break and enter, and possession of a firearm.
At 3:57:26 a.m., an ambulance parked beside the Complainant.
At 3:57:41 a.m., WO #4 read CW #1 his ‘rights to counsel’.
At 4:03:19 a.m., the Complainant was brought to his feet by paramedics and assisted onto a stretcher.
At 4:04:59 a.m., another ambulance arrived, and a paramedic tended to CW #1.
At 4:07:54 a.m., the SO approached WO #4 and informed him the driver of the suspect vehicle [now known to be CW #2] required medical attention because his chest hurt.
The remainder of the video recorded the police officers’ conversations about transporting CW #1, the Complainant and CW #2 to the hospital.
The BWC footage of WO #2 was requested on May 2, 2022, and received by the SIU on May 12, 2022.
At 3:41:28 a.m., the video opened with an inside view of a police vehicle travelling northbound through the Canadian Tire parking lot. WO #1 operated the vehicle and WO #2 was the passenger. The vehicle stopped in front of the Canadian Tire garage and the audio component of the BWC was activated.
At 3:41:54 a.m., WO #2 exited the police vehicle with his firearm drawn and held in front of him with both hands. Two police officers [now known to be WO #3 and the SO] walked westbound holding their firearms. WO #2 rounded the back of the police vehicle and walked towards a second police vehicle [now known to have been operated by WO #4].
All the police officers stood behind WO #4’s police vehicle.
The remainder of WO #2’s BWC footage was consistent with the events captured on WO #4’s BWC, as described above.
The BWC footage of WO #1 was requested on May 2, 2022, and received by the SIU on May 12, 2022.
The footage was consistent with that of the BWC worn by WO #2.
The BWC footage of the SO was requested on May 2, 2022, and received by the SIU on May 25, 2022.
The footage began at 3:40:41 a.m., and opened with a view inside the police vehicle the SO was operating. The emergency lights were activated. The view out the windshield of the vehicle did not show the suspect vehicle nor did it show any police vehicles.
At 3:40:50 a.m., the vehicle travelled through the intersection of Green Road and Stevens Road, on a red light, into the Canadian Tire parking lot. The camera view was obstructed momentarily by a hand.
At 3:41:01 a.m., the officer stopped his police vehicle in front of the Canadian Tire store where a person [now known to be the Complainant] ran along the length of the building at the right side of the video view.
At 3:41:04 a.m., the SO stopped his police vehicle, opened his door, was passed by a police vehicle [now known to have been operated by WO #4] with its emergency lights activated, exited his vehicle, walked westbound in the parking lot, drew his firearm, and held it up in front of him. At 3:41:12 a.m., with his firearm in front of him, he shouted, “Hey, hands up! Get down on the ground!”
At 3:41:24 a.m., the SO’s BWC recorded as WO #4’s police vehicle stopped at the corner of the Canadian Tire garage. The SO continued to verbalize commands and walk westbound. A voice [now known to be WO #4] also shouted commands.
At 3:41:27 a.m., the SO stopped adjacent to the Canadian Tire garage doors and shouted, “Show me your hands!” At 3:41:44 a.m., the Complainant shouted, “Help me, my arm, help me, help me.” At 3:41:52 a.m., the SO, stood beside a police vehicle and continued to shout commands, including, “Roll over now.” At 3:41:58 a.m., the SO rounded that police vehicle, passed WO #3, stopped, and pointed his firearm in front of him. The Complainant sat on the ground at the corner of the Canadian Tire garage and laid down on his back. He cried out in pain and asked for help for his arm. The police officers directed him and CW #1 to lie on their stomachs and show their hands. The Complainant insisted he could not because his arm was hurt.
At 3:43:06 a.m., WO #4 asked for an ambulance to stage around the corner because the Complainant complained of an injured arm.
At 3:43:41 a.m., the SO said, “I don’t think he can, G-Dog, I think his right arm’s…I think his right arm’s messed up.” The SO held his firearm with both hands in front of him which blocked the camera’s view of the Complainant. At 3:44:51 a.m., he raised his hands slightly to reveal the Complainant lying on the ground and CW #1 beginning to lie down with his left hand raised in the air. The Complainant continued to shout out for help.
At 3:45:21 a.m., the SO slowly approached the Complainant and CW #1. At 3:45:41 a.m., WO #4 and WO #3 approached. WO #3 began to handcuff CW #1. WO #4 stood behind and pointed his firearm and a flashlight toward the Complainant and CW #1. At 3:45:54 a.m., the SO lowered his firearm and walked toward the Complainant, who lay on his left side, his head pointed eastbound. His right arm hung abnormally and unnaturally behind his back.
CW #1 lay on his stomach, his left knee bent behind the Complainant, his head pointed west, as his left wrist was handcuffed.
WO #3 could not pull CW #1’s right wrist over to handcuff it because of CW #1’s size.
At 3:46:28 a.m., the SO asked the Complainant if he was armed. The Complainant said he was not.
At 3:46:43 a.m., WO #4 used a second pair of handcuffs to handcuff CW #1’s hands behind his back.
At 3:46:35 a.m., the SO said, “I don’t think I can cuff him, his arm’s broken.”
At 3:46:58 a.m., WO #4 and the SO performed a pat down search of the Complainant.
At 3:47:27 a.m., a police officer asked which car belonged to the Complainant and CW #1, and the SO said, “The black car, they crashed and ran.”
At 3:48:22 a.m., the SO ran eastbound in the parking lot and announced over his radio, “Yea, coming.” He ran to and stood behind a police vehicle and pointed his firearm in front of him and had no other interaction with the Complainant for the remainder of the video.
The subsequent footage captured police interaction with CW #2.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU obtained the following materials from DRPS between May 2, 2022, and July 5, 2022:
- Computer-assisted Dispatch Records;
- Arrest Report;
- BWC footage;
- Communications recordings;
- GPS data;
- Police Witness Report – WO #1;
- Police Witness Report – WO #2;
- Policy - Apprehension and Pursuits;
- Policy - Arrest and Warrant Application;
- Policy – Body Worn Cameras;
- Police – Memo Book Writing;
- Narrative – WO #4;
- Narrative – WO #3;
- Notes – WO #4;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Notes – WO #3; and
- Notes – WO #2.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from the following other sources:
- Ambulance Call Report from Region of Durham Paramedic Service; and
- Canadian Tire security camera footage.
In the early morning hours of April 30, 2022, the DRPS received a 911 call about a break and enter at a residence in Bowmanville. The caller indicated that one of the assailants was armed with a gun. Multiple police officers were dispatched to the scene.
The SO was among the officers making their way to the address. While en route, he and other officers received another transmission from a fellow officer indicating that two suspect vehicles had left the scene – one headed northbound on Bowmanville Avenue, the other travelling southbound. The SO observed the southbound vehicle and started to pursue it with his emergency lights activated.
The Complainant was a rear seat passenger in the vehicle - a Nissan Altima. The vehicle was being operated by CW #2. There were two additional persons in the Nissan. The vehicle also contained a loaded firearm. CW #2 turned to travel west on Stevens Road and proceeded through a red light at Clarington Boulevard and another red light at Green Road before entering onto the parking lot of the Canadian Tire at 2000 Green Road. Within moments, the vehicle struck a concrete light standard and came to a stop south of the Canadian Tire main entrance doors.
The SO arrived at the parking lot and stopped his cruiser just north of the crash site. By then, the Complainant and one of the other passengers – CW #1 – had left the Nissan and begun to run away westward through the parking lot. The officer exited his cruiser and gave chase with his firearm in hand.
WO #4 had also taken up pursuit of the Nissan on Bowmanville Avenue, behind the SO’s cruiser. He arrived in the parking lot to find CW #1 and the Complainant in flight, and the SO pursuing on foot. WO #4 drove past the SO, caught up with CW #1 and the Complainant, and, from within his cruiser through the open front passenger window, ordered them to the ground.
CW #1 and the Complainant complied with WO #4’s direction and went to ground. Within moments, CW #1 and the Complainant were taken into custody without further incident. It was apparent that the Complainant’s right arm had been broken in the crash.
Following their arrest, CW #1 and the Complainant were taken to hospital where the latter was diagnosed with a fractured right humerus.
Section 320.13 (1) Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
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. The offence is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the issues are twofold: was there a want of care in the manner in which the SO operated his cruiser sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction and, if so, did the officer’s dangerous driving cause or contribute to the crash. In my view, there was no such want of care.
The SO was within his rights in initiating a pursuit of the Nissan on Bowmanville Avenue. He had reason to believe that the vehicle was freshly fleeing from a break and enter involving a weapon.
I am also satisfied that the SO comported himself within the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. The officer was through most of the pursuit well back of the Nissan – a distance of approximately 375 metres around the time of the crash – such that it cannot be said that he unduly pushed or fueled CW #2’s reckless driving. It is true that he exceeded the speed limit but that was to be expected if he was to keep up with the Nissan, the apprehension of whose passengers was imperative given the serious offence they had allegedly committed. Nor is there any indication that the SO’s speed directly imperiled third-party traffic or was otherwise ill-advised because of the environmental conditions. In fact, there was little traffic around, the roads were dry, the weather was clear, and the officer had his emergency lights on giving other users of the roadway notice of his speed. Of greater concern is the failure of the SO to stop at one or more red lights encountered during the pursuit. The officer ought to have done so in compliance with the rules of the road. That said, his indiscretions in this regard were not such as to attract criminal sanction in light of the same aforementioned mitigating factors.
In the result, as there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO conducted himself unlawfully throughout his engagement with the Nissan and its occupants, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges. The file is closed.
Date: August 26, 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.