SIU Closes Vaughan Investigation after Finding Officer’s Tackle of Man was Legally Justified
(23 November, 2022) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has found no reasonable grounds to believe a York Regional Police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest of, and serious injury suffered by, a 24-year-old man in Vaughan in July.
At 1:30 a.m. on July 30, 2022, two officers were on patrol in an unmarked police vehicle when they came upon a Mercedes SUV stopped awkwardly on Buttermill Avenue, south of Portage Parkway. Upon running a check on the vehicle’s licence plate, the officers learned that the SUV had been reported stolen. The driver of the SUV exited the vehicle and fled on foot. One of the officers exited the cruiser and pursued the man. The man fell on one or two occasions during his flight and was eventually tackled from behind by the officer. The man’s jaw hit the pavement in the tackle causing it to fracture. Within moments of the tackle, the officer was joined by other officers and the man was arrested. He was taken to hospital and diagnosed with his injury.
Director Martino determined there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer comported himself other than lawfully in his engagement with the man. As there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, 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