News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Man Seriously Injured in Arrest by Sarnia Officers

Case Number: 22-OCI-188   

Mississauga, ON (18 November, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe a Sarnia Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest and serious injuries suffered by a 46-year-old man in Sarnia.

On July 23, 2022, Sarnia Police Service officers were dispatched to the Insignia Hotel at 283 Christina Street North for reports of a trespasser. Officers asked the man to leave the hotel, but he refused and threatened the officers. Officers grabbed the man, forced him from his chair and a struggle ensued on the floor. At one point, the man reached up to try to grab one of the officer’s firearms. Additional officers arrived and the man continued to struggle with police. Officers punched and kicked the man. He was handcuffed and put in a cruiser. While in the sally port of the station, the man refused to exit the vehicle. The man kicked at officers and an officer kicked back. After complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath, the man was transported to hospital via ambulance and diagnosed with fractured ribs, a broken nose, and a collapsed lung.

While Director Martino accepted that the man was injured in the course of his engagement with officers, likely the result of one or more of the strikes, there were no grounds to believe that his injuries were attributable to any unlawful conduct on the part of the involved officers. As such, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case. 

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