SIU clears NRP officer in Falls arrest probe
A director with the Special Investigations Unit has determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against a Niagara Regional Police officer related to a serious injury reportedly sustained by a woman during her arrest in Niagara Falls last January.
At approximately 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 30, 2018, NRP notified the SIU of an apparent serious injury sustained by a 34-year-old woman during her arrest at a Niagara Falls motel the previous evening, according to a report by SIU director Tony Loparco.
The NRP reported that at 8 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2018, the complainant was taken from the motel to the hospital due to suspected drug and alcohol intoxication, but later released.
At 1:42 a.m. on Jan. 30, 2018, the NRP were called to the same motel a second time for a disturbance.
During that encounter, the complainant was arrested for assaulting police.
Once at the police station, she complained of a sore hand, and was later found to have fractured the tip of her right middle finger.
On Jan. 30, 2018, three SIU investigators initiated an investigation at the motel.
The incident scene was examined and video surveillance of the motel was obtained.
The video, however, did not capture the incident that led to the complainant’s injury.
Civilian witnesses were identified, located and interviewed.
“The evidence before me does not satisfy me that the complainant was injured during her contact with the police, it being just as likely that she was injured prior to their arrival due to her thrashing about and smashing things in the motel room, or that she became injured when she fell in the shower before the police had entered the room,” Loparco wrote as part of his analysis and decision.
“However, even had she sustained her injury as a result of the actions of the police in trying to apprehend her in her extremely intoxicated and violent state, where she repeatedly assaulted the police officers while resisting her apprehension, I cannot find that the police actions, in these circumstances, amounted to an excessive use of force. In conclusion, even were I to find that the complainant was injured during her contact with the police officers on Jan. 29, 2018, which I find highly unlikely, I find that the evidence does not establish that the (subject officer), or any police officer involved in the apprehension and removal of the complainant, acted outside of the limits of the criminal law.”
The SIU is an arm’s-length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.