News Release

Man’s Admittance to ICU a Result of Drug Overdose; SIU Discontinues Toronto Investigation

Case Number: 21-TCI-144   

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Mississauga, ON (16 July, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation launched after a complaint was received through the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD).

On May 6, 2021, The Toronto Police Service notified the SIU that on the same day, they received a complaint submitted through the OIPRD. The complaint said a then 34-year-old man sustained a brain injury from being assaulted by an off-duty police officer at the Steamworks Sauna on Church Street in Toronto on December 18, 2014.

Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, which included an interview with the man and a review of his medical records, it was established that the man was found by staff at Steamworks Sauna in a private room unconscious with syringes. An ambulance was called, and police were dispatched to assist paramedics. The man’s injury was diagnosed as being attributable to a drug overdose, and not the conduct of any police officer.

Based on the findings, Director Martino closed the file after concluding that there was patently nothing to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of any police officer was concerned.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

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Kristy Denette, kristy.denette@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342