SIU Concludes Investigation in OPP Tecumseh Area



    MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 15 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU) Ian Scott has concluded that there are no reasonable
grounds to believe that three officers from the Ontario Provincial Police
(OPP), Tecumseh Detachment, committed any criminal offence in relation to the
arrest of a Kingsville man in January of this year.
    The SIU assigned two investigators and one forensic investigator to probe
the circumstances of this incident.
    The SIU investigation determined that on January 31, 2009, at
approximately 6:00 p.m. in the area of Highway 77, east of Essex, an OPP
officer attempted to stop a vehicle that had earlier been reported stolen. The
driver of the vehicle, 41-year-old Scott McLaughlin, did not stop and a
pursuit ensued. The pursuit continued until 6:30 p.m. when a spike belt was
deployed. Mr. McLaughlin lost control of the vehicle and went into a ditch on
Highway 3 near Sexton Sideroad. Mr. McLaughlin was arrested at the scene. He
complained of injuries and was transported to hospital where he was treated.
    Director Scott said, "The subject officers became involved in a
high-speed pursuit of Mr. McLaughlin after he had appropriated a taxicab. The
first officer involved in the pursuit used his emergency lights and sirens and
pursued the stolen taxicab along County Road 34 and Highway 3 in Essex County.
Other OPP officers joined the pursuit. The officers attempted a rolling stop
of the taxicab after taking out one of the front tires with a spike belt. In
the process of so doing, the taxicab left the roadway and entered the ditch
area of Highway 3 west of County Road 34."
    Director Scott added, "The officers approached Mr. McLaughlin who was
conscious and still located in the driver's seat with his legs pinned under
the dashboard. Mr. McLaughlin physically resisted the arresting officers, who
were ultimately able to forcibly remove him from the vehicle. Mr. McLaughlin
was handcuffed and transported to hospital due to his complaints about
injuries he received. Accordingly, while force was used on Mr. McLaughlin in
order to remove him from the vehicle, I am of the view that it was not
excessive in these circumstances given his degree of resistance. In any event,
the more serious injuries he received were more likely than not the result of
the motor vehicle collision as opposed to intentional force applied by the
subject officers."

    The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries
(including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.
Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is
mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an
officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where
warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid
against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to
the Attorney General.




For further information:

For further information: Frank Phillips, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou
1-800-787-8529

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