SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
The Interim Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into the self-inflicted serious injury sustained in July of 2019 by a 30-year-old man who was involved in a standoff with Ontario Provincial Police officers in Orillia.
At approximately 7 a.m. on July 20, 2019, family members of the man had concerns regarding his well-being, and thus contacted police. Using the man’s cell phone, the OPP were able to track him to Concession Road D & E off of Highway 169.
The man was inside his pickup truck and in possession of a large knife. Officers attempted to communicate with the man and tried to encourage him to exit the vehicle, but he refused the officer’s entreaties.
At about 10 a.m., officers became concerned for the man’s health and made the decision to remove him from the vehicle. Upon breaking a door window, an officer observed the man slumped over between the front and rear seats of the truck bleeding from a large gash to the left side of his neck. The man was removed from the truck, treated by paramedics at the scene and rushed to hospital.
Interim Director Martino said, “Acting in pursuit of their foremost duty to protect and preserve life, it is apparent that the officers conducted themselves with due care and regard for the man’s well-being, negotiating patiently with him for a peaceful resolution to the standoff while they could, interjecting forcibly at the first instance when it appeared the man’s health had taken a turn for the worse.
"Indeed, their combined interventions on the morning in question might well have served to save the man’s life. On this record, it is evident at this time that there is no question of any potential criminal liability on the part of the officers in connection with the man’s self-inflicted serious injury. Accordingly, the investigation is hereby discontinued, and the file closed.”
The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must:
- Consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- Depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
- Report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General.