SIU Clears Peel Police After Mississauga Man Hits Officer With Metal Bar
Peel police officers have been cleared by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit after a 65-year-old man was seriously injured in Mississauga after hitting an officer with a metal bar.
“… I am unable to form reasonable ground to believe that a criminal offence has been committed and no charges will issue,” said the SIU’s director Tony Loparco.
The incident unfolded on July 14, 2016, at 5:05 a.m.
Police were executing a drug search warrant at a townhouse in Mississauga and forced their way in.
Once inside, officers encountered the complainant on the second floor.
The man, his wife, son and mother-in-law were home at the time.
The man came out of his upstairs bedroom into the dark hallway - holding a six-foot metal bar, police allege - and hit an officer on the forearm.
A Taser, or conducted energy weapon (CEW), was deployed and and a struggle ensued between the man and officers.
Three officers landed on the man, who was tackled.
He was handcuffed and visibly injured.
Paramedics treated the man before transporting him to hospital where he was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and fractured ribs.
Although a few ounces of marijuana were seized from the house, no other drugs were located, the investigation found.
The complainant admitted to striking an officer with the metal rod because he was confused about what was happening inside his home.
“Despite perhaps being the cause of the complainant's confusion, police officers like all other citizens are legally entitled to defend themselves when attacked,” wrote Loparco.
Police had “reasonable justification” to discharge the Taser, Loparco ruled.
The complainant alleged he was subjected to two Taser deployments and a lengthy beating by three officers until he was unconscious.
“However, the medical evidence and statements from the involved officers do not support this version of events,” said Loparco, adding “the extent of his injuries did not appear to reflect such an extensive beating.”
Context “is important to assessing the circumstance of the arrest. It is notable that the officers were in an unknown environment, in the dark, in the midst of a dynamic and potentially dangerous situation,” Loparco continued.
“By all accounts including that of the complainant, no strikes were delivered by the involved officers after the complainant was handcuffed.”
Although it’s “regrettable” that the man received significant injuries during the execution of the search warrant, Loparco said, “I am not satisfied on this record for the foregoing reasons that the actions of [the officers] fell outside the limits prescribed by the criminal law.”
Photo courtesy of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit
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