SIU clears OPP officers of wrongdoing in August 2020 arrest in Tamworth

Beaver Staff

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has cleared the OPP of any wrongdoing after suspect suffered serious injuries during an arrest in Tamworth in August 2020.

The final decision of the investigation was released on Wednesday.
On Aug. 3 of last year Ontario Provincial Police officers in Tamworth arrested a 52-year-old man who suffered serious injuries in the process. The director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officers committed a criminal offence in connection with the man’s arrest and injuries.

According to the report, police were called to a home in Tamworth for the second day in a row on Aug. 3 after a man had a physical altercation with his surety. Attempts to locate the man the day before were unsuccessful.

When police approached the suspect on Aug. 3, a physical altercation ensued and the officer used a conducted energy weapon, also known as a Taser.

Once in custody, the suspect was taken to Lennox and Addington County General Hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured rib and a collapsed lung. On Aug. 4 the suspect was transferred to Kingston General Hospital for facial surgery.

“In the final analysis, the only reliable evidence suggests that the (suspect) was struck with knees and punches to various parts of his body which, though significant, were not disproportionate to the spiritedness with which he fought the officers’ efforts to take him into custody,” Martino wrote in his report. “On the foregoing analysis, I am not satisfied on reasonable grounds that the force used by the subject officers fell afoul of the latitude prescribed by the criminal law. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with charges in this case and the file is closed.”

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