News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Man’s Self-Harm, Brain Injury Suffered in Timmins Cell

Case Number: 23-OCI-414   

Mississauga, ON (8 February, 2024) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, found no reasonable grounds to believe a Timmins Police Service officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the serious injury suffered by a 48-year-old man. On October 10, 2023, the man was arrested for assault at a residence in the area of Father Costello Drive. The man, who made suicidal comments en route to the station, was lodged in a cell. Minutes later, he attempted to hang himself with a T-shirt. An officer checked on him and cautioned him to stop. Later the man attempted to harm himself a second time. The officer saw the man and helped him. Paramedics were called and the man was taken to hospital where he was treated for a brain injury.

Director Martino noted that the officer relied on the man’s assurance that his behaviour would stop, rather than take additional steps to prevent a further suicide attempt at that time.
“Whatever the merits of that judgement, I am unable to reasonably conclude that it rendered the [subject official’s] conduct a marked departure from a reasonable standard of care.  In arriving at that conclusion, I am mindful that the officer, despite being occupied with other duties, was alert to the Complainant’s predicament in fairly short order and thereafter acted quickly to cut the ligature and provide care,” Martino said.
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.

Monica Hudon,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES