SIU clears NRP of­fi­cer in Falls ar­rest probe

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Local -

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.

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