88-year-old man’s death not due to any police wrongdoing in Mississauga incident: SIU

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Published January 24, 2024 at 10:16 am

No wrongdoing by Peel police in death of 88-year-old man, says SIU

An 88-year-old Mississauga man who fell down a flight of stairs to his death inside his home did not die due to any wrongdoing by a Peel Regional Police officer who was there at the time, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has concluded.

The SIU, a civilian agency that looks into incidents in which members of the public are seriously hurt or killed during interactions with police, said in a news release its investigation did not reveal any evidence to suggest the police officer was responsible for the death.

According to the SIU, the 88-year-old man died in hospital last Sept. 25, nearly two weeks after the initial incident inside his Dundas Street East/Cawthra Road area home.

Last Sept. 13, Peel Regional Police were called to the man’s home at about 1 p.m., the SIU said in its statement of events.

The agency added that it investigated the incident “because an officer was attempting to apprehend the man under the Mental Health Act at the time of the fall.”

According to the SIU, a police officer assigned to the Peel police Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) accompanied several members of that team, including a behavioural support nurse, on the call.

The SIU said the man “was located outside his residence in an agitated state. The police officer was able to de-escalate the matter and the complainant went back into his residence with the police officer, nurse and COAST worker.”

However, once back inside the home, the situation escalated again, police tried to apprehend the man and “at some point, the complainant fell down a flight of stairs,” the SIU said.

SIU Director Joseph Martino said in the news release that “while it was tragic that the man fell down the stairs, suffering fatal injuries, his injuries were not the result of any unlawful conduct on the part of the officer.”

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