News Release

No Charges After Woman Struck by ARWEN During Apprehension in Whitby

Case Number: 21-OFP-124   

Other News Releases Related to Case 21-OFP-124

SIU Investigating ARWEN Discharge in Whitby

Mississauga, ON (13 August, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that two Durham Regional Police officers committed a criminal offence after they fired Anti-Riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) rounds to disarm a woman in distress.

On April 17, 2021, police responded to a 911 call regarding a woman in crisis near the Whitby Central Library. During negotiations with police, the woman pulled a knife from her purse and threatened to end her life.

After a period, the woman brought the knife to her throat. Officers subsequently discharged their ARWEN weapons, striking her in the thighs and hand. The woman dropped the knife and officers took her into custody under the Mental Health Act. The woman was not seriously injured.

Director Martino said the two officers involved did not use excessive force in the woman’s apprehension, and concluded there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges.

Full Director’s Report (with Incident Narrative, Evidence, and Analysis & Director’s Decision):

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

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Kristy Denette,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES