Peel officer cleared after hitting fellow officer with his cruiser in Mississauga

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Published August 18, 2022 at 8:45 pm

The Peel Regional Police officer who struck a fellow cop with his cruiser, sending the colleague to hospital with serious facial wounds, has been cleared of wrongdoing in the collision.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m. on April 20, a man called police about a break and enter in progress at 5165 Dixie Road, a plaza full of restaurants. The call was shortly backed-up by a call from an alarm company and a restaurant owner who saw two men inside through his computer.


On arrival the officers spotted two suspects, identified as Civilian Witness (CW) #1 and CW #2 in the SIU report. The pair ran from the scene once they became aware of the police presence. CW #1 ran from the plaza westward down Matheson Ave.

The injured cop, dubbed the Complainant in the report, was on of the officers on scene. He watched from the north side of the plaza as CW #2 busted a second storey window from inside, jump out and take off across the parking lot.

The Complainant chased after CW #2 across the lot up toward Matheson Ave and a trailer parked at the north end of the parking lot.

At this point the officer under investigation, the Subject Officer (SO) arrived on scene. The SO heard over the radio that CW #2 was running away. He drove his cruiser, a marked SUV around the plaza and saw CW #2 running toward the trailer.

Thinking he would cut CW #2 off the SO drove the cruiser over the curb and into the grass boulevard at around 50 km/h. CW #2 was right in front of the SO  and tripped over the curb.

The Complainant, hot on CW #2’s heels tripped over the fallen suspect as the SO tied to swerve away, right into the SO’s path of travel.

The SO then struck the Complainant with his car.

Other officers rushed to the scene and arrested CW #2. The Complainant was rushed to hospital with a broken nose and cuts to his face, requiring plastic surgery.

CW #1 was already in custody by this point and an ambulance was already en route.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) which investigates interactions with police resulting in death or serious injury, was notified short after 5:30 a.m. April 20.

After surveying the parking lot and physical evidence, including damage to the car’s left front corner and tire marks, the SIU found” it was unlikely CW #2 and the Complainant were visible to the SO, or that the police vehicle was visible to CW #2 and the Complainant until just before impact.”

Weighing the evidence SIU Director Joseph Martino found ” there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the SO committed a criminal offence.”

In Marino’s estimation the charge up for consideration was dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Proving this would require a “marked departure” from the care expected by a reasonable person in this circumstance.

For a charge to be filed Martino needed evidence of conduct “sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. “In my view, there was not,” he said.

However, while Martino notes the SO had every reason to suspect CW #2’s involvement in the B&E, he wondered if using the SUV to stop him was warranted.

“One wonders about the wisdom of using a motor vehicle in motion to assist in the apprehension of a person on foot with all of its attendant risks, particularly when the crime in question was a property offence,” he said particularly concerning the trailer.

“CW #2 was fortunate to have tripped and fallen when he did as he too might have been struck and seriously injured by the SO’s cruiser.” Martino continued. “The Complainant was not as lucky albeit his injuries could have been far more serious than they were.”

“I find the SO’s conduct concerning, but am unable to conclude it was so egregious that it was criminal,” he concluded, “In the final analysis, while I think the SO’s conduct was regrettable and, possibly, negligent. I am not persuaded, in the heat of the moment, that it was criminal.”

 

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