SIU Director’s Report - Case # 23-OCI-279
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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 38-year-old woman (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIU On July 21, 2023, at 10:10 p.m., the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) contacted the SIU with the following information.
On July 21, 2023, at approximately 11:24 a.m., police responded to an address on Mohrs Road in Ottawa following a report of a domestic disturbance. Information was received that a female – the Complainant - had assaulted her male partner, leading police officers to form grounds for her arrest. As the police officers attempted to execute the arrest at approximately 11:37 a.m., the Complainant went to her bedroom closing the door behind her. Police officers followed, one of whom placed his foot at the base of the door to prevent it from closing. The door flew back into the room and hit the Complainant in the face causing immediate bleeding. Once arrested, the Complainant disclosed that she had been assaulted in the back of the head and sexually assaulted by her partner. As a result, police officers transported the Complainant to Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus (OHCC) located at 1053 Carling Avenue in Ottawa. She was diagnosed with a fractured nose at 8:15 p.m.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 2023/07/24 at 8:14 a.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 2023/07/24 at 8:56 a.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 0
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):38-year-old female; not interviewed (declined); medical records obtained and reviewed
Civilian Witnesses (CW)CW Interviewed
The civilian witness was interviewed on August 7, 2023.
Subject Officials (SO)SO Interviewed, but declined to submit notes, as is the subject official’s legal right
The subject official was interviewed on September 29, 2023.
Witness Officials (WO)WO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
The witness officials were interviewed on August 28, 2023.
The Scene The events in question transpired in and around a bedroom of a home situated at an address on Mohrs Road, Ottawa.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Communications RecordingsOn Friday, July 21, 2023, the CW called 911 to request police attendance at Mohrs Road, Ottawa, in relation to a domestic incident. The CW reported that his ex-girlfriend, the Complainant, had broken his nose. The Complainant was upstairs, and he was outside.
On July 21, 2023, the Complainant called 911 to request that police and paramedics attend an address on Mohrs Road, Ottawa. The Complainant reported that her boyfriend, the CW, had raped her and punched her in the head several times. At 01:48 minutes of the audio run time, the Complainant started screaming and the call ended.
On July 21, 2023, at 11:14:07 a.m., the dispatcher requested that units attend an address on Mohrs Road in relation to the CW, who reported that his ex-girlfriend, the Complainant, had hit him in the nose. The SO and WO #1 responded that they would attend.
On July 21, 2023, at 11:22:08 a.m. the dispatcher asked the police officers if everything was okay, and they responded, “So far, so good.”
A police officer requested an estimated time of arrival for paramedics, and the dispatcher said they would call them.
The SO subsequently radioed that a person was in custody.
On July 21, 2023, at 11:30:06 a.m., a dispatcher inquired if the Complainant had cut herself and a police officer informed the dispatcher that she had not.
Custody VideoOn July 21, 2023, at 9:41:44 p.m., the Complainant was escorted into the booking area by a police officer and presented to a sergeant.
At 9:42:12 p.m., the police officer informed the sergeant that the Complainant had an injury to her nose, more specifically, a fracture. The Complainant had been cleared at 9:11:00 p.m., from OHCC.
On July 21, 2023, at 9:43:06 p.m., the Complainant was escorted into the search area. A police officer confirmed with the Complainant that she had no other injuries aside from her nose injury.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU received the following records from OPS between July 24, 2023, and September 26, 2023:
- Witness statement – the CW;
- Photo of injury – the CW;
- Medical note – diagnosis - the Complainant;
- Record of computer-assisted dispatch;
- Officers’ Involvement;
- Injured Person and Witness Contacts;
- OPS Training Record – WO #1;
- OPS Training Record – the SO;
- Communications recordings;
- Interview with the Complainant;
- OPS Arrest Details;
- OPS WO #1 – Mobile Data Transmission Logs;
- Custody Video;
- Notes – WO #1;
- Investigative Action Report – WO #1;
- Notes – WO #2;
- Investigative Action Report – WO #2; and
- General Occurrence Report.
- Materials Obtained from Other Sources
- The Complainant’s medical records from OHCC.
In the morning of July 21, 2023, the SO and WO #1 were dispatched to an address on Mohrs Road, Ottawa, in connection with a domestic disturbance. The CW had called police to report that the Complainant had just assaulted him and broken his nose.
Arriving at the residence, the SO spoke to the CW outside and observed the injury to his nose. Deciding there were grounds to arrest the Complainant for assault, he and WO #1 entered the residence with the CW’s permission to take her into custody.
Advised by the SO that she was under arrest, the Complainant made her way into a bedroom and attempted to slam the door shut on the officers. The SO reached the door and kicked it open before it could close. The door swung back into the room and struck the Complainant in the face, breaking her nose in the process.
The Complainant was handcuffed and escorted out the house to be assessed by paramedics, who were on scene examining the CW’s injury. She was taken to hospital and diagnosed with a broken nose.
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 Complainant was subject to arrest at the time of her injury. Having spoken to the CW and observed his injury, the SO correctly concluded, I am satisfied, that there were grounds to take the Complainant into custody for assault.
I am also satisfied that the force used by the SO was legally justified. The officer was entitled to prevent the door from closing in order to effect the Complainant’s arrest, and to do so emphatically. Knowing that she had in the past armed herself with knives while threatening self-harm, the SO was right to prevent that contingency from materializing had the Complainant managed to close and, possibly, lock the door behind her. Once inside the bedroom, there is no evidence of any further force having been brought to bear against the Complainant.
For the foregoing reasons, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the SO in this case. The file is closed.
Date: November 17, 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.