Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has determined that there are no grounds to lay criminal charges to an OPP officer in Sioux Lookout, after an altercation with a 45-year-old man in October of 2016.

On October 11, 2016, the Sioux Lookout OPP received a 911 call regarding an intoxicated man, who was outside of a commercial building. The caller was concerned about the man’s safety.

Officers located the man intoxicated and asleep underneath a dump truck. The man was arrested for public intoxication, placed in an OPP cruiser and was taken to the OPP detachment.

While there, the man complained of pain in his heart and kidney. The man alleged that during the arrest, he was taken to the ground and kicked in the ribs, fracturing several of them. He was then taken to the hospital where he was released by the OPP. X-rays determined that the man had a minimally displaced rib fracture.

It is very possible that the Complainant was knocked down and kicked in the ribs causing him two fractures,” wrote Director of the SIU, Tony Loparco, in the SIU’s report.

“I find that was not done by either of the police constables who responded to the 911 call, but could easily have occurred prior to the arrival of police and perhaps the Complainant has fused the two incidents together in his mind as one, due to his state of sobriety at the time.”

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.

The SIU defines serious injuries as:

Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “

Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault.

Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.

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