News Release

No Charges for Niagara Officer for Punching Man during Arrest

Case Number: 21-OCI-151   

Mississauga, ON (10 September, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that a Niagara Regional Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with a 52-year-old man’s arrest and serious injuries in St. Catharines in August 2020.

On August 18, 2020, the man was punched in the face by a Niagara Regional Police Service officer in the course of his arrest. Director Martino said there was evidence that the man had advanced on, and looked as if he was about to assault, the officer when he was punched. He concluded that the force used by the officer fell within the latitude of justifiable force recognized by the criminal law. Accordingly, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and the file was closed.

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

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