Officer won’t face charges over arrest outside restaurant
Force used to subdue intoxicated man warranted, SIU says
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has decided not to lay charges against a Halton police officer in connection with injuries suffered by a 35-year-old man outside an Oakville restaurant last year.
In a report released Tuesday, SIU director Tony Loparco said that on March 5, 2016, police were called to Lourice Mediterranean restaurant on Marlborough Court at 2:15 a.m. after receiving reports of a disturbance.
Officers reported finding a man in the restaurant’s parking lot who appeared to be unsteady on his feet and intoxicated. They said that despite being told to calm down, the man aggressively moved toward them.
A civilian witness said the man shouted he was a soldier and was going to kill everyone in the restaurant.
Officers who attempted to arrest him for public intoxication say he resisted arrest. During the struggle, one officer delivered what the report refers to as three “palm heel strikes” to the man’s face.
The man was also forced to the ground at one point.
The man was released from police custody at 8:30 a.m. the same day and went to a hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken nose.
The SIU assigned three investigators to the case and interviewed four civilian witnesses and five officer witnesses.
Loparco noted the amount of force used by the officer was justified given the situation.
“I am satisfied the complainant was loudly and actively resisting his arrest by police and, as such, was taken to the ground in order for the officers to gain control and to handcuff him and later, two to three palm heel strikes were delivered to his face when he refused to co-operate in a search and was spitting on officers,” Loparco said in his report.
“I find that the degree of force with which the complainant was taken to the ground and the delivery of the palm heel strikes to his face fell within the range of what was reasonably necessary in the circumstances to effect his lawful detention.”
The province’s Special Investigations Unit investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.