Police watchdog investigating after officers reportedly use stun guns, strike man with cruiser
The 28-year-old man was diagnosed with a 'serious injury,' SIU says
Ontario's police watchdog is investigating an incident in which officers reportedly used stun guns and struck a man with a police cruiser in downtown Toronto.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says Toronto police responded to a call for a robbery near King Street West and Bathurst Street at around 6:40 p.m. on Sunday, April 12.
The officers reportedly found the suspect, a 28-year-old man, wielding a knife after arriving at the scene.
The man then fled southbound on Bathurst Street to Front Street, where police "deployed conducted energy weapons at the man," though he continued to run away.
"Soon after, a police cruiser struck the man," according to a news release by the SIU.
The incident, which took place near several downtown condos, was captured on video by multiple witnesses who posted the footage to social media.
Just saw some serious police activity in downtown Toronto (Front and Bathurst). Guy had a knife from what I could tell. I think I heard a taser or two as well. <a href="https://twitter.com/blogTO?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@blogTO</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCToronto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCToronto</a> <a href="https://t.co/HxcnDfbjTR">pic.twitter.com/HxcnDfbjTR</a>—@jonathanmahoney
One video appears to show the suspect chasing down another person around the time police first arrived at the scene.
Another post shows at least 10 police officers and six police cars chasing the suspect along Front Street before the man was run over.
Nicole Ivanna captured video of the man getting hit by the cruiser from her neighbour's condo south of Front Street. She said the SIU contacted her and she has shared the video with investigators.
Warning, this video contains graphic content:
<a href="https://twitter.com/globalnewsto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@globalnewsto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CP24?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CP24</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CityNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CityNews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CTVToronto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CTVToronto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCToronto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCToronto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/nowtoronto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nowtoronto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SIUOntario?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SIUOntario</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TorontoPolice?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TorontoPolice</a> I am the original poster and I am re-posting earlier video. Officer driving car seems to flee the scene, can anyone explain this?? April 12, 2020 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Toronto?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Toronto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/torontopolice?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#torontopolice</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/kingandbathurst?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kingandbathurst</a> <a href="https://t.co/wuDVTkiL1J">pic.twitter.com/wuDVTkiL1J</a>—@NicoleIvanna4
Toronto police have not responded to a request for information about the incident. The force typically does not comment on cases being investigated by the SIU.
The suspect was arrested and taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with what the SIU calls a serious injury.
The SIU probes incidents involving police where there has been a death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
The watchdog has assigned one investigator, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist to look into the case.
Anyone who has information about the incident or video from the area is asked to contact the SIU at 1-800-787-8529.