News Release

SIU Determines No Grounds to Charge Handler of Police Service Dog in East York Arrest

Case Number: 23-TCI-229   

Mississauga, ON (13 October, 2023) ---
In the afternoon of June 16, 2023, an individual called 911 to report that a man had discharged a firearm at a building in the area of Kingston Road and Woodbine Avenue. Officers located a vehicle that was believed to have been involved in the shooting, and attempted a takedown of the vehicle. The driver was apprehended, but the 31-year-old male passenger escaped. He was last seen running into a ravine. A police service dog handler, and his dog were dispatched to assist with the search. While in the ravine, the officer deployed the police service dog on a long lead. Shortly after, the dog had located the person of interest and bit into the area of the back of his upper right arm/shoulder. The man was transported to hospital following his arrest. On his assessment of the evidence, SIU Director Joseph Martino determined there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the police service dog handler committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s injuries. There was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file has been 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

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Kristy Denette,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES