The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has concluded an investigation looking into whether an officer committed a criminal offence when arresting a man in front of the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital.
“There are no reasonable grounds to believe that any officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s arrest and injuries,” SIU Director Joseph Martino concluded.
Martino reports the incident happened on August 1st, 2020 on Ann Street in front of the Bracebridge hospital. An employee reported to police that an inebriated man who had just left the emergency department was damaging property in the parking lot. Martino says an employee reported this to the Bracebridge OPP detachment. A second man was involved and also damaging property, but was not the subject of this investigation. When officers arrived, they found the 30-year-old man and took him into custody. He was later diagnosed with fractures of the right orbit and nasal bone.
Martino says in his report that the male has punched one of the responding officers and was later held for assault and mischief. He adds that the person was also placed in the back of the cruiser. “The complainant tried to exit the cruiser and at one point punched (the responding officer) in the right eye,” Martino explained in his report. “With his right forearm across the complainant’s chest, (the responding officer) used his weight to keep the complainant in the cruiser and reacted to the punch by delivering a punch of his own to the complainant’s face with his left hand. With the help of (another officer), the officers were able to reinsert the complainant’s legs into the cruiser and close the doors.”
He reports the offending man continued to struggle but was eventually taken back to the hospital.
The SIU is an independent government agency that is called to investigate the conduct of officials that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person.