SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS UNIT
The Interim Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against a York Regional Police officer in relation to the serious injuries sustained by a 55-year-old man in the course of his July 2018 apprehension by police in Newmarket.
In the morning of the day in question, the complainant’s wife contacted police to report that her husband had left their residence on foot following an argument. There was an outstanding Form One under the Mental Health Act, authorizing the complainant’s apprehension for purposes of a psychiatric assessment at a psychiatric facility.
The officers located the complainant at the southeast corner of the intersection of Gorham and Prospect streets and sought to enforce the Form One, which was still in effect. They spoke with the complainant and made him aware that he was required to go to hospital. The complainant objected and resisted as the officers attempted to handcuff him. He held his arms close to his chest and refused to release them.
The officers walked the complainant toward a grassy area adjacent to the sidewalk and took him to the ground. The complainant landed on his stomach and, with his arms underneath him, continued to resist as the officers tried to wrest his arms behind his back. The officer placed a knee on top of the complainant’s upper torso, at which point the complainant’s struggle waned and the officer, together with another officer was able to handcuff him. Following the complainant’s apprehension, he was taken to Southlake Regional Health Centre and admitted to the mental health ward. He was subsequently diagnosed with multiple fractured ribs.
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.