Of­fi­cer won’t face charges over ar­rest out­side restau­rant

Force used to sub­due in­tox­i­cated man war­ranted, SIU says

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - DAVID LEA

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.

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