SIU Concludes Investigation into Death of Toronto Man

    TORONTO, June 3 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit has determined
that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that officers of the Toronto
Police Service committed a criminal offence in connection with the death of a
Toronto man.
    The 47-year-old man fell to his death from a 16th floor apartment on
Redgrave Drive on December 22, 2007. Officers had responded to earlier reports
of a man damaging property, Christmas lights and a car, in the area. Their
investigation led to the man's apartment, but they were denied entry by the
distraught man, who was yelling and swearing inside. He was banging around in
his apartment and refusing to acknowledge the officers' attempts to speak with
him. They did not know if the man was alone in the apartment.
    The officers called on Emergency Task Force officers to assist; however,
they, too, were unsuccessful in negotiating with the man who had locked his
door and removed the doorknob. When the officers forced open the door, the man
sprinted to the balcony, vaulted the railing and fell to his death. The
officers tried but could not stop him; in fact, one of the officers fired his
Taser as the man was going through the balcony door in an effort to stop the
man, but it appears the man's heavy winter clothing prevented the probes from
making contact.
    SIU Director James Cornish said: "Officers became increasingly concerned
about the mental health and physical safety of this man and for anyone else
who might be in the apartment. The officers were also concerned for their own
safety given that they had no control of the door since the man had removed
the door handle. Once inside the apartment, at least two officers ran out onto
the balcony only to witness the man's horrifying plunge after having tried
unsuccessfully to stop him. None of the officers could have reached the man
nor done anything to prevent him from doing what he did."
    Mr. Cornish noted that there was nothing in the evidence gathered to
suggest that the officers should have anticipated the man's fatal reaction to
their entry.

    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: John Yoannou, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou

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