SIU ends probe into Hamilton man’s fall off apartment balcony
Published January 31, 2023 at 4:17 pm
An investigation into the conduct of Hamilton Police officers at 911 call last fall is off, since a man who went over the railing at an apartment building refused to speak to the Ontario police watchdog.
Director Joseph Martino of the Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says he has terminated an investigation into the serious injuries a 33-year-old man suffered after he fell from a balcony last Oct. 30, while officers were speaking with someone in that same apartment unit. The SIU says that morning, officers from Hamilton Police (HPS) were sent to an apartment building on Congress Cres. in response to a 911 call in which two people were heard yelling.
“The officers spoke with a woman, and searched the (apartment) unit for a man without success,” Martino writes. “While the officers were in the company of the woman by the doorway, they heard a sound from the balcony and went to check on it. Looking over the railing, they saw a man on the ground below the balcony. The man was taken to hospital and diagnosed with multiple fractures and other internal injuries.”
The SIU investigates whenever a police officer is part of an incident where there has been death, serious injury, a sexual assault allegation, and/or shots fired at a person. It has the power to charge a police officer with committing a criminal offence if it believes there are reasonable grounds for doing so.
Martino added the man refused an interview with the SIU, leaving it “unknown” whether the man jumped intentionally off of the balcony or fell accidentally in the act of attempting to hide from the police.
“It was evident that neither officer did, or failed to do, anything that caused or contributed to the man’s descent,” Martino writes in his explanation. Accordingly, there being patently nothing to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of the officers is concerned, the file has been closed.”