SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-TCI-038


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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 section 14 (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 injuries of a 26-year-old man (the “Complainant”).

The Investigation

Notification of the SIU [1]

On February 8, 2023, at 6:04 a.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.

Earlier that day, at 12:45 a.m., uniform officers responded to a domestic disturbance at an apartment on Ellesmere Road, Toronto. Upon arrival, officers announced their presence and heard yelling within the apartment. A woman [CW #2] partially opened the door with the security chain engaged. She told the officers that a man - the Complainant – was inside, and he was armed with a knife. CW #2 closed the door and officers forced it open. At that time, the Complainant went onto the apartment balcony and tried to escape but lost his grip and fell to the ground. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded and transported the Complainant to the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SHSC) with serious internal and spinal cord injuries.

The Team

Date and time team dispatched: 02/08/2023 at 8:32 a.m.

Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 02/08/2023 at 12:05 p.m.

Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1

Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):

26-year-old male; interviewed

The Complainant was interviewed on March 14, 2023.

Civilian Witnesses (CW)

CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Not interviewed; declined
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed

The civilian witnesses were interviewed between February 8 and February 24, 2023.

Witness Officials (WO)

WO #1 Not interviewed; body-worn camera (BWC) footage reviewed
WO #2 Not interviewed; BWC footage reviewed
WO #3 Not interviewed; BWC footage reviewed
WO #4 Not interviewed; BWC footage reviewed


The Scene

The events in question transpired in and around an apartment. The address was a high-rise apartment building on Ellesmere Road in Toronto. The front entrance faced onto Ellesmere Road. All apartments had balconies that were connected to the interior of the unit via a lockable door. Each balcony was covered with nylon-netting to keep birds out.

The ground around the building was partially grass-covered and soft due to the mild winter. There were several pieces of clothing on the ground that appeared to have been cut away from the Complainant’s body by EMS. Next to the clothing was a small area of blood and pieces of the balcony netting.

The west section of the balconies to three apartments revealed a large hole in the netting.

The interior hallway door to the apartment revealed no signs of damage or forced entry.

Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence [2]

Police BWC Footage

On February 8, 2023, TPS provided the SIU with the footage from the BWCs of WO #1, WO #2, WO #4 and WO #3. The video, date and time-stamped, was of good quality. The following is a summary of the cumulative footage.

On February 8, 2023, starting at about 12:54 a.m., WO #1 and WO #2 arrived at the door to the apartment. They were accompanied by CW #3 and CW #4. The officers listened to what sounded like a commotion inside the apartment. The Complainant could be heard yelling at CW #2.

WO #2 knocked on the door and announced, “It’s the police.” CW #2 responded, “Hi, how can I help you?” WO #2 asked, “Can you open the door, please?” CW #2 asked, “For what reason?” WO #2 replied, “There is a 911 call for this address.” CW #2 requested a few minutes so she could get her inhaler as she was having a bout of asthma. WO #2 asked if the Complainant was with her and CW #2 said he was not. At that time, TPS WO #4 and WO #3 arrived.

Starting at about 12:57 a.m., CW #2 opened the door with the security-chain in place and was asked who was with her. She said, “Nobody,” despite an obvious male voice. WO #2 pressed her about hearing a male voice and CW #2 responded that there was nothing going on. WO #2 told her that they needed to enter to make sure that everything was okay, and CW #2 requested a few more minutes to put herself together. She then closed and locked the door.

A few minutes passed and CW #2 opened the door and TPS officers entered. On the living room floor was blood and CW #2 admitted that it was hers. WO #4 went to the balcony and called out, “Where are you at?” He did not get a response and returned inside. TPS officers searched the unit. CW #4 then went out onto the balcony.

Starting at about 1:00 a.m., WO #4 and WO #1 returned to the living room and CW #4 told them, “He’s outside, he jumped down. He’s over here. He made a hole there, and he jumped down. He probably broke his leg. He’s on the floor.” Officers went to the balcony and looked down to the Complainant. They expressed shock and rushed down the stairway to the ground, while WO #1, and CW #4 and CW #3, remained in the apartment with CW #2.

Starting at about 1:01 a.m., WO #1 reported the situation on his police radio. He went onto the balcony to meet CW #2, who looked downward to the ground.

WO #4 requested EMS. A TPS officer transmitted on his radio that the Complainant was conscious and breathing, and that he had fallen from the sixth-floor balcony.

Video Footage from the Apartment Building

The footage, date and time-stamped, did not have audio.

Starting at about 12:52 a.m., on February 8, 2023, a TPS vehicle arrived and parked in front of the entrance to the building. Another vehicle arrived and parked near the TPS vehicle.

Starting at about 12:53 a.m., WO #2 and WO #1 entered the building with CW #4 and CW #3. Not long afterward, two more TPS officers [WO #3 and WO #4] arrived.

Starting at about 12:59 a.m., the Complainant was seen as he fell and hit the ground on a grassy area on the southside of the building. The Complainant appeared injured. He remained on the ground and kept trying to move his limbs with apparent difficulty. After a while, he managed to slightly push himself up. The Complainant rolled over on his side and continued to faintly wriggle his body. Shortly, he turned on his stomach and tried to crawl forward without success.

Starting at about 1:01 a.m., WO #4 and WO #2 arrived where the Complainant was located. WO #4 put his left hand on the Complainant’s shoulder and gently nudged him onto his back. The Complainant rolled over on his back, and WO #4 and WO #2 appeared to speak with him as he flailed his right arm weakly. Soon, WO #3 joined them.

WO #4 and WO #2 continued to attend to the Complainant, while WO #3 stood over with a flashlight and watched them. Another TPS officer soon arrived and joined them.

Starting at about 1:03 a.m., the Complainant went unconscious and WO #4 began to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). After a while, WO #2, WO #3, and the recently-arrived TPS officer took turns conducting CPR on the Complainant.

Starting at about 1:09 a.m., EMS arrived. The EMS paramedics took over the resuscitation of the Complainant.

Starting at about 1:17 a.m., the EMS paramedics, with the assistance of TPS officers, carried the Complainant onto a stretcher. The Complainant was wheeled to an ambulance, and subsequently taken away.

Materials Obtained from Police Service

Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the TPS on February 9, 2023:
  • General Occurrence Report;
  • Record of computer-assisted dispatch;
  • Procedure - Intimate Partner Violence;
  • BWC footage; and
  • Witness List.

Materials Obtained from Other Sources

The SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
  • The Complainant’ medical records from SHSC;
  • Canadian Police Information Centre report – the Complainant; and
  • Video footage from the apartment building.

Incident Narrative

The material events in question, clear on the evidence collected by the SIU, may briefly be summarized.

In the early morning of February 8, 2023, TPS officers were dispatched to apartment on Ellesmere Road in connection with a domestic disturbance. A tenant in another apartment had contacted authorities about shouting from the apartment and a woman she could hear yelling, “Stop.”

The first TPS officers – WO #1 and WO #2 – arrived at the door of the apartment at about 12:55 a.m. CW #2 answered the door, opening it partially with the security chain still engaged. She told the officers she was okay and that the Complainant was not there. When the officers insisted they would have to enter, CW #2 fully opened the door.

Aware that police officers were at the door, the Complainant had fled to the balcony where he planned to scale down balcony netting to avoid apprehension. In the process, the Complainant fell and landed on the ground below. The Complainant was already on the balcony attempting to escape, and may have even fallen, by the time of the officers’ entry into the apartment.

Officers entered the apartment, searched it, and eventually came to learn that the Complainant had fallen.

The Complainant was transported to hospital and diagnosed with multiple internal injuries.

Analysis and Director's Decision

On February 8, 2023, the TPS contacted the SIU to report that a male - the Complainant – had earlier that day suffered serious injuries while attempting to evade arrest. The SIU initiated an investigation, which is now concluded. On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant’s injuries.

The officers who attended at CW #2’s apartment were engaged in the lawful course of their duties at the time of the Complainant’s fateful decision. A police officer’s foremost obligation is the protection and preservation of life. Hearing of the domestic disturbance inside the apartment, and then personally observing CW #2’s condition when she partially opened the door, the officers were duty bound to attend at the address and attempt to gain entry to do what they could to prevent harm from materializing.

Having arrived at the apartment, there is no evidence that any of the attending officers failed to comport themselves with due care and regard for public safety. They knocked on the door, spoke with CW #2, convinced her to open the door, and then promptly searched the residence before learning that the Complainant had fallen. In fact, there is every possibility that the Complainant’s fall occurred prior to the officers’ entry into the apartment. On this record, there is no question of any want of care on the part of the police causing or contributing to the Complainant’s injuries.

In the final analysis, aside from being the impetus for the Complainant’s reckless decision to attempt to scale down the building’s balconies, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers who attended at the apartment transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.

Date: June 8, 2023

Electronically approved by

Joseph Martino
Special Investigations Unit


  • 1) The information in this section reflects the information received by the SIU at the time of notification and does not necessarily reflect the SIU’s finding of facts following its investigation. [Back to text]
  • 2) 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.