SIU Concludes Investigation into Sarnia Death



    TORONTO, Aug. 16 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit
(SIU), James Cornish, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to
believe that any Sarnia Police Service (SPS) officers are criminally liable in
relation to the death of 61-year-old Wayne Anderson.
    Mr. Anderson died on February 24, 2007 while in police custody. Five SIU
investigators were assigned to probe the circumstances surrounding his death.
    The SIU investigation revealed that on February 24, at approximately 9:21
p.m., three SPS officers responded to a domestic complaint on Vidal Street
South in Sarnia. The officers arrested Mr. Anderson after he falsely
misidentified himself as being the one who committed the assault. Mr. Anderson
started to resist the officers' efforts to try and handcuff him and there was
a brief struggle in the hallway of the apartment. The officers gained physical
control of Mr. Anderson and escorted him to the cruiser as he continued to
struggle.
    The police arrived with Mr. Anderson at the police station at 9:47 p.m.
Mr. Anderson was coherent but appeared to be a little unsteady as he walked
into the station. Approximately two minutes later, he fell to the floor. The
paramedics arrived at 9:58 p.m. and started CPR. Mr. Anderson was transported
to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
    A post mortem examination concluded Mr. Anderson died of a heart attack.
    Based on all the available evidence, Director Cornish concluded, "The
officers had a duty to render medical care as soon as it became clear that Mr.
Anderson was in medical distress. I believe that the care provided by the
officers at the station fell within the level prescribed by the criminal law.
Nothing that the officers did caused the death of Mr. Anderson."

    The SIU is a civilian government agency that investigates circumstances
involving police and civilians, which have resulted in serious injury or
death. Under Section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU
has the authority to decide whether or not charges are warranted based on the
findings of an investigation. The Director's decision is reported to the
Attorney General.





For further information:

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

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