SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-275
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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 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.
- 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 of a 28-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIU On July 19, 2023, at 10:59 a.m., the Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On July 18, 2023, at approximately 8:24 p.m., police officers attended a residence in the area of Sunrise Ridge Drive and Mont Adam Street, Sudbury, following a report of a family dispute. Once they arrived, a male – the Complainant – fled the residence on foot. A foot pursuit was initiated by the officers and the Complainant was located in the rear yard of another residence in the area of Mont Adam Street and Sunrise Ridge Drive. He was arrested at 8:38 p.m. by police officers after a struggle. Once in custody, the Complainant was transported and lodged in a cell without incident. During the early morning hours of July 19, 2023, the Complainant complained of an injury that he believed to have occurred during the arrest the night prior. The police officers transported him to Health Sciences North (HSN) where he was diagnosed with a left medial malleolus fracture.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 07/19/2023 at 2:07 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 07/19/2023 at 7:36 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):28-year-old male; interviewed; medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on July 19, 2023.
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
The civilian witnesses were interviewed between July 24 and 27, 2023.
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 Not interviewed; notes reviewed and interview deemed unnecessary
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Not interviewed; notes reviewed and interview deemed unnecessary
WO #6 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on July 24, 2023.
The Scene The events in question transpired on and around the exterior grounds of a residence in the area of Sunrise Ridge Drive and Mont Adam Street, on Mountain Street, and in the booking room and a cell of the GSPS police station, all of which were locations in Sudbury.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Police Custody VideoSally Port Video
A marked GSPS SUV was captured arriving at the police station garage. WO #4 exited the passenger side of the police vehicle. The vehicle was operated by WO #1. The Complainant was removed from the back passenger side of the police vehicle. He was able to exit the police vehicle without assistance. The Complainant was handcuffed with his hands behind his back.
The Complainant was brought into the booking area by WO #4 and the SO. He remained handcuffed. The Complainant appeared agitated during conversation with WO #6. WO #4 and the SO attempted to search the Complainant, but he would lean back and appeared to shake and stick out his tongue. At one point, he pulled away from WO #4 and then used his left side to shove the officer. The Complainant was brought to the floor by WO #4, another officer, and the SO, and placed on his stomach. The SO grabbed the Complainant’s legs, straightened them out and placed his shin on top of the lower left leg. The search commenced on the ground and the SO removed himself from the Complainant’s legs. The Complainant was rolled to his side for the remainder of the search. After the search, the Complainant was stood up and walked towards the cell area, escorted by a police officer.
Cell Hallway and Cell Video
The Complainant was brought to a cell. The handcuffs were removed, and he walked into the cell of his own accord.
Police Communications RecordingsBetween about 8:19 p.m. and 8:24 p.m., July 18, 2023, WO #1 and WO #2 were dispatched to a residence in the area of Sunrise Ridge Drive and Mont Adam Street in connection with a family dispute. WO #1 went over the police radio and requested another police unit if the Complainant was involved.
Starting at about 8:31 p.m., the SO was asked if he was at the back door. The SO advised he was not, but he could hear yelling and screaming from the residence.
Starting at about 8:32 p.m., the Complainant was said to be running out the back door.
At about 8:33 p.m., the Complainant was said to have jumped over multiple fences.
At about 8:34 p.m., the Complainant was noted as being in custody.
Starting at about 8:38 p.m., WO #2 indicated that WO #4 would be in the police vehicle with her, and that the Complainant was being transported to the police station.
Materials Obtained from Police Service Upon request, the SIU received the following materials from the GSPS between July 20, 2023, and July 25, 2023:
- Arrest Report;
- Communications recordings;
- Custody video;
- Prisoner Log;
- Record of computer-assisted dispatch;
- Officer and Witness Lists;
- Policy - Arrest;
- Policy - Use of Force;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Notes –WO #4;
- Notes – WO #3;
- Notes – WO #5;
- Notes – WO #6; and
- Arrest Warrants.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained the following records from other sources between July 20 and 25, 2023:
- The Complainant’s medical records from HSN; and
- Ambulance Call Report from Manitoulin-Sudbury Emergency Medical Services.
In the evening of July 18, 2023, police were called to a residence in the area of Sunrise Ridge Drive and Mont Adam Street. A 911 caller had contacted police to complain about a disturbance ongoing between the Complainant and his mother. They had been arguing loudly and throwing things in the residence. The Complainant was also subject to a number of outstanding arrest warrants at the time.
Several officers arrived and knocked on the front door, whereupon a distressed woman – the Complainant’s mother – opened the door as the Complainant fled through a door at the rear of the residence. The officers chased after the Complainant through the residence, out the door and across the backyards of neighbouring residences.
The Complainant scaled multiple fences as he ran away. Now finding himself on Mountain Street, the Complainant crossed the street and was confronted by the SO.
In anticipation that the Complainant might attempt to escape apprehension by fleeing through the rear of the residence, the SO had positioned himself in the area. He drove up to the Complainant’s location and arrested him. Other officers arrived at the site of the arrest and took the Complainant into custody.
The Complainant was transported to the police station, searched, and lodged in a cell. He had to be physically restrained on several occasions during his period in custody: while being searched in the booking area, and then in his cell as officers entered to remove articles of clothing that he was using to block the cell camera.
Following repeated complaints of pain in his left leg, the Complainant was taken to hospital the following morning and diagnosed with a fractured ankle.
Section 25(1), Criminal Code -- Protection of Persons Acting Under Authority
(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,
Analysis and Director's Decision
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 SO was within his rights in arresting the Complainant. He was subject to several arrest warrants at the time. With respect to the officers that entered the residence, I should note that I am satisfied they did so legally given the distressed presentation of the Complainant’s mother at the door and evidence indicating that she allowed the officers entry into the residence. Once in custody, the police were entitled to restrict his movements so that he could be safely processed according to law, which would include searches of his person.
As for the force used by the SO, the evidence falls short of any suggestion it was not legally justified. For starters, it appears that the Complainant’s arrest was effected with little if any force having been brought to bear by the SO. The officer did participate in the takedown of the Complainant in the booking hall, but the technique itself was called for in the circumstances. The Complainant had just shoved WO #4 with his left side as the officers attempted to search him on his feet, and it made sense to want to bring him to ground to better manage any additional resistance he might offer. Once he was prone on the floor, the SO dropped his lower right leg onto the Complainant’s lower left leg. That too seems a reasonable use of force to prevent a previously aggressive Complainant from flailing his legs.
At the end of the SIU investigation, it remains unclear when precisely the Complainant broke his ankle. The evidence gives rise to the possibility that the fracture was incurred as the Complainant fled from the police or as he kicked at the interior windows of the SO’s cruiser when he was placed in the rear seat following his arrest or in the course of the takedown in the booking area. Be that as it may, as there are no reasonable grounds to conclude that the SO comported himself other than within the limits of the criminal law throughout his engagement with the Complainant, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: November 16, 2023
Electronically approved by
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.