Hamilton officers cleared by SIU in teenager's fall from downtown overpass

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The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) announced Tuesday (Mar. 23) it has cleared officers with the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) after a teenager fell from an overpass in their presence.

The incident occurred on Dec. 29, 2020, at around 9:45 p.m. A 17-year-old female suffered serious injuries when she fell from the Ferguson Ave. North overpass.

Because police officers were present on the bridge and had interacted with her in the moments prior to her fall, the SIU was notified and opened a file.

The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the teenager’s fall and injuries.

In the SIU report, it states that the teenager contacted police at 9:31 p.m. and notified them that she was going to harm herself. Police were able to locate her after pinging her cell phone.

The HPS officers attended the area and located the teenager standing on a bridge over railroad tracks on Ferguson, north of Barton St. East.

The teenager had climbed over the bridge handrail and was threatening to jump, according to the report, which says the police officers attempted to convince her to climb back to safety.

The teenager then reportedly slipped and began screaming for help. Officers attempted to pull her up but the teenager slipped again and fell to the track below.

She was reportedly admitted to Hamilton General Hospital and treated for a featured pelvis and vertebrae.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault, and the discharge of a firearm at a person.

All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians

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