No Charges to Issue in Relation to Serious Injuries Suffered by Man in Orillia
(14 October, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario Provincial Police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the serious injuries suffered by a 35-year-old man in June in Orillia.
In the evening of June 15, 2022, the man was on the property of a Tim Hortons when restaurant staff became concerned for his well-being and contacted an ambulance. Paramedics arrived on scene and were told by the man that he was fine and did not require assistance. In further conversation with restaurant staff, it became clear to the paramedics that the man was no longer welcome on the property. As a result, officers arrived on scene, where they encountered the man sitting outside by the main doors of the restaurant. Told repeatedly that he would have to leave the premises, the man demurred, stood up, and asked the police officers to move back as they were causing him anxiety. An officer advised the man that he was under arrest for trespass and took a hold of his right wrist. The man broke free of the officer’s hold on two occasions and fled. Another officer fired his conducted energy weapon (CEW), and the probes of the CEW struck the man in the rear. The man fell and was arrested after a struggle. He was transported to hospital after his arrest and diagnosed with multiple facial fractures.
While accepting that the man sustained his facial fractures when he fell following the CEW discharge by the officer, Director Martino determined there were no reasonable grounds to believe that his injuries were attributable to unlawful conduct on the part of the officers, or that the force applied in his arrest, was not legally justified. There was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case and the file has been closed.
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, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES