SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Man's Death

    TORONTO, Jan. 23 /CNW/ - James Cornish, the Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds
to believe that any Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officers committed any
criminal offence in connection with the death of Mr. Carlos Alcantara Gomez.
    The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic identification
technicians and an accident reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of
this incident.
    The SIU investigation revealed that at 4:42 a.m. on October 2, 2007, Mr.
Alcantara Gomez was pacing in front of the First National Bank on Rideau
Street. An OPS officer approached Mr. Alcantara Gomez to see if everything was
all right. Mr. Alcantara Gomez turned around and jumped through a window into
the bank's automated banking machine (ABM) area. Other officers arrived to
assist the first officer. Mr. Alcantara Gomez then broke out a side window and
exited the ABM area. At this point Mr. Alcantara Gomez armed himself with a
pair of scissors. He lunged at the attending officers as they spoke to him in
an effort to try and calm him down. Mr. Alcantara Gomez fled south on Waller
Street. At Daly Avenue a police cruiser struck Mr. Alcantara Gomez. He was
taken to Ottawa Civic Hospital and admitted for treatment.
    On October 3, 2007, Mr. Alcantara Gomez fell from his second floor
hospital room window and landed on a roof below. He was in police custody at
the time of his fall. On October 4, 2007, Mr. Alcantara Gomez succumbed to his
injuries and was pronounced dead at Ottawa Civic Hospital.
    In relation to the initial incident on Rideau St. Director Cornish said,
"Mr. Alcantara Gomez came out of the bank armed with scissors and lunged at
the officers. He then ran in the direction of some civilians that had come on
the scene. One of the officers gave chase in his police cruiser. Mr. Alcantara
Gomez veered into the path of this officer's cruiser and was struck. Based
upon the totality of the available evidence I do not believe that the officer
deliberately struck Mr. Alcantara Gomez with his police cruiser."
    In relation to the incident at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, Director
Cornish said, "In my view there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the
subject officer in this matter committed any criminal offence. Mr. Alcantara
Gomez was at the hospital under police guard and was able to rip free of his
restraints quickly before anyone could react to stop him. Mr. Alcantara Gomez
was able to break through the window of his room and fell to a rooftop below.
He soon succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the fall, and unfortunately
his life could not be saved."

    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

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