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SIU ends investigation into TBPS custody injury

By Adam Riley Dec 1, 2023 | 1:16 PM

*This story contains disturbing details*

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has terminated an investigation into a serious custody injury involving the Thunder Bay Police Service and a 38 year old man in July.

According to the SIU officers responded to the July 27th incident at a northside residence involving a man in crisis armed with a knife, where he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act.

He was placed in the backseat of the cruiser, and was handcuffed to the front.

However, while in transit the man gouged out his right eye, prompting officers to stop the vehicle reposition the handcuffs behind the man, before rushing him to hospital.

The SIU’s Director, Joseph Martino, found there was no warning given to the officers which indicated the man was about to self-harm in that manner, which left no opportunity for preventative action by the officers.

The report also noted the officers couldn’t have reasonably foreseen he would have taken advantage of his hand being handcuffed to the front to gouge out his eye, as he had been compliant and cooperative when taken into custody.