SIU clears Niagara officers, two years after Thorold man suffers concussion


Published April 19, 2022 at 6:38 pm

Citing a 911 call from the man’s fearful female neighbour, the provincial police watchdog has ruled out charging two Niagara police officers whom a Thorold man said gave him a concussion.

The Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) announced today (April 19) that it had “found no reasonable grounds to believe that two Niagara Regional Police Service officers committed a criminal offence” during their interaction with the man two years ago this week. The man, who was 55 years old at that time he suffered the brain injury, filed the complaint last December. He needed medical treatment for post-concussion syndrome for some time after the incident.

Early on April 17, 2020, after three 911 calls that night involving a woman who had what the SIU termed an “ongoing neighbour dispute” with the complainant, two NRPS officers visited a basement apartment in the area of St. David’s Road and Regional Road 56 in Thorold. During the third call, where the woman “begged for police assistance,” the 911 call-taker had heard the complainant banging on the woman’s closed apartment door.

When the police arrived, entered the man’s bedroom and roused him, he “denied he had done anything wrong.” He was not arrested. He later alleged he was assaulted by one or both of the officers.

The denial and the evidence from the 911 call created an inconsistency, in the view of SIU director Joseph Martino.

“The allegation, if true, amounts to a criminal assault,” Martino writes in a report posted at “While alone in his bed, not under arrest and no threat to anyone at the time, it is alleged the Complainant was punched several times to the head by one or both of the officers.

“This evidence, however, is not cogent enough to give rise to charges,” the SIU’s Martino writes. “The account of what happened suffers from very real issues of credibility. For example, it denied the Complainant was banging on another tenant’s bedroom door prior to the officers’ arrival. The recordings of the 911 calls tell a different story. Clearly heard on the recordings is someone banging on the tenant’s door in the background. It is also apparent that the source of this evidence was inebriated at the time, which would have detracted from their ability to accurately perceive and recall the events in question. Lastly, the source was unable to identify with any confidence which of the officers struck the Complainant or if they were both responsible. On this record, I am unable to reasonably conclude that this evidence is sufficiently reliable to warrant being put to the test by a court.”

The SIU becomes involved when a person is injured or dies during an interaction with police.

The full report, graphic content that can shock, offend and upset, is viewable at

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