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SIU clears Regional police officers after man suffers facial injury during arrest

The Special Investigations Unit has completed its investigation on the two Waterloo Regional Police officers who arrested a man in his 40s during a domestic dispute in December
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The Special Investigations Unit has completed its investigation into the actions of two Waterloo Regional Police officers who arrested a 46-year-old man during a domestic dispute in December. According to a report from the police watchdog, the SIU's mandate was engaged after the Waterloo Regional Police service notified the SIU of a significant injury - a fractured jaw - sustained by the Complainant.

The incident occurred on December 3 at the Kitchener-Waterloo Working Centre, as officers responded to a domestic dispute just before 4:00 p.m.

The SIU report shares both officers arrived on the scene together, parked their cruiser on Heit Lanes, and made their way on foot toward the address's east side. The Complainant became aware of the officers. One officer attempted to grab hold of him with his left hand. The Complainant backed away and swatted the officer's chest with his left hand. The officer then moved in and grabbed hold of the left side of the Complainant's body as the second officer on the scene did the same with his right side. Together, the officers grounded the Complainant onto his right side before forcing him into a prone position and pinning him on the ground.

In the report, Director of the SIU Joseph Martino states the Complainant had violently assaulted a woman moments before the officers' arrival and was clearly subject to arrest for assault. The officers were within their rights to take the Complainant to the ground when he physically resisted arrest.

The man was taken to Grand River hospital following the arrest, where he was diagnosed with a fractured jaw.

According to the report, the facts are clear on the evidence collected by the SIU. A video recording captured the entire arrest and interviews with several police and civilians who witnessed the incident were conducted. The tactic proved successful in quickly subduing a combative Complainant. The officers delivered no strikes of any kind.

Martino stated that a distinct possibility is raised in the evidence that the Complainant's left-sided facial fracture happened before the officers' arrival. It appears he had been involved in physical altercations with at least one other male before or after his assault on the woman. In reviewing the video, audio and photographic evidence and witness statements, Martino said that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officers committed a criminal offence in connection with the Complainant's injury.

The report found that both officers conducted themselves lawfully throughout their engagement with the Complainant, concluding that there is "no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against either officer."

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