Published January 17, 2018
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
A civilian law enforcement agency has deemed criminal charges are not warranted against an Ontario Provincial Police officer for an October 2016 incident in Pikangikum.
On Oct. 18 officers were dispatched to Dump Road at approximately 2:10 p.m. in response to a report of an impaired driver. A 43-year old man who was arrested in the incident was later diagnosed with a dislocated elbow and possible hand injuries.
In a report filed with the Attorney General made public on Jan. 9, Special Investigations Unit Director Tony Loparco ruled the officer had grounds to arrest the man for impaired driving citing a reported blood alcohol level of 200 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millitres of blood.
“This level of intoxication obviously calls into question the reliability of the complainant’s recollections…For example, he could not recall how he ended up on the ground during his arrest,” noted the SIU report on its investigation signed by Loparco.
The decision was compiled from four civilian witness interviews along with those of three witness officers and the notes of two others. According to the report the responding officer was informed by a number of community members of an impaired driver prior to arriving at the scene. The driver resisted efforts of the officer to handcuff him. The officer then “grounded” the male on his stomach. Other officers arrived at the scene and the man was taken to the detachment where it was discovered that the accused’s elbow was swollen. Medical attention was then sought at the community nursing station.
“…given the complainants 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,” said Loparco in his decision.
The SIU is an arm’s length agency tasked with investigating incidents involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.