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No charges warranted against officers after Moosonee investigation: SIU

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No charges are being laid against officers involved in an incident in Moosonee last year, according to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). 

The arms-length agency investigates police-involved incidents where there has been a death, serious injury, allegations of sexual assault, or the discharge of a firearm at a person. It was called in to look into a Sept. 2, 2020, incident at a Moosonee residence.

In his report, SIU director Joseph Martino said there are no reasonable grounds to believe the officer committed a criminal offence.

The morning of Sept. 2, OPP officers went to a residence to arrest a 58-year-old man on sexual assault charges, according to the SIU report. 

"At word that police officers were at his door, the Complainant fled to a second floor bathroom, locking himself inside. On his way to the bathroom, he had grabbed a box cutter-type knife. The Complainant was fearful of police and the prospect of incarceration," reads the report. 

Officers went into the home and spoke to the man through the bathroom door and the man indicated he would hurt himself if police went into the bathroom. The man wouldn't open the door for police or his wife.

Around 3 p.m., when a warrant was obtained by police, officers forced open the door and found the man lying in the bathtub.

"As the officers entered, he took the knife he was holding and cut his neck with it several times, inflicting serious lacerations. An officer discharged his CEW at the Complainant. The deployment incapacitated the Complainant and he dropped the knife, after which officers took hold of him and placed him under arrest," according to the report.

The suspect was brought to hospital and it took about 50 stitches to close the wound.

Martino also addressed the use of the taser.

"Indeed, it would appear that the discharge accomplished exactly what it was meant to achieve as the officers entered the bathroom and saw the Complainant cutting himself – it immediately dispossessed the Complainant of the knife and prevented him doing any further damage to himself," he wrote.

The full report is available here.