No charges against officer over 2016 Pikangikum arrest: SIU
43-year-old injured while being arrested for impaired driving; SIU says police acted reasonably
An Ontario Provincial Police officer was acting "within the limits" of the law during a 2016 arrest that left an intoxicated and aggressive 43-year-old male with injuries, the director of the provincial Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said.
Tony Loparco, SIU director, issued his ruling in the case on Tuesday, saying no charges will be issued against the officer.
An SIU investigation was launched on Oct. 18, 2016 after OPP reported injuries to the 43-year-old, who had been arrested earlier that day over impaired driving at Pikangikum First Nation.
The SIU report states that the male had been driving a pickup truck in and around Pikangikum after having consumed a "significant" amount of alcohol.
Intoxicated and aggressive
The police officer who was the subject of the investigation was notified by several community members about the driver. They said he was intoxicated, aggressive, and could be found near the community's landfill.
The officer then located the male's pickup on Dump Road in Pikangikum.
When the officer approached the male, the report states, "it was clear he was impaired." The man was placed under arrest and the officer removed him from the truck. However, the male resisted the officer's efforts to handcuff him, and the officer "grounded" the male on his stomach.
Other officers arrived on the scene, and the man was taken into custody and transported to the detachment.
There, it was found that the man's right elbow was swollen, and he was taken for medical treatment at the community's nursing station. The male was then diagnosed with a dislocated elbow, and x-rays revealed fractures to the elbow, as well.
The SIU interviewed the male who was arrested, as well as four other civilian witnesses and three witness officers. Notes from another two officers were reviewed, as well (the subject officer declined an interview, but his notes were reviewed.
"I have no doubt that the [subject officer] had grounds to arrest the complainant that afternoon for impaired driving," Loparco writes in the decision.
Loparco also notes that evidence shows the man did resist arrest, and his injuries did occur during the course of his arrest.
"Nonetheless, given the complainant's size, level of intoxication and resistance to the [subject officer's] efforts to handcuff him, I conclude that the [subject officer's] conduct did not fall outside the range of what was reasonably necessary," Loparco writes.
- A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that the subject officer was a member of the Pikangikum police service. In fact, the officer is a member of the OPP.Jan 10, 2018 9:45 AM ET