News Release

No Charges Against OPP Officers After Man Seriously Injured in Stolen Tractor Pursuit in Norfolk County

Case Number: 21-PVI-209   

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Mississauga, ON (2 November, 2021) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that two Ontario Provincial Police officers committed a criminal offence in connection with the serious injury suffered by a 42-year-old man operating a stolen tractor in Norfolk County last July.

On July 5, 2021, officers responded to a 911 call reporting a farm tractor being operated recklessly by the man in Port Rowan. 

Officers initiated a slow-speed pursuit as the man swerved all over the roadway, entering and exiting adjacent fields and nearly colliding with police cruisers and another vehicle. The man failed to stop at a stop sign on County Road 23, and while trying to make a right-hand turn onto Lakeshore Road, he entered the ditch and rolled the tractor.

The man fled from the crash site into a cornfield. One of the officers chased the man and forced him to the ground.  Officers arrested the man. 

The man was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with an airgap in his chest.

Director Martino concluded the man was clearly subject to lawful arrest, and that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officers who pursued and arrested the man committed a criminal offence. 

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
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342