No charges laid against Orillia OPP officer who fired anti-riot weapon gun at autistic teen

The province’s police watchdog has found no reasonable grounds to believe an OPP officer committed a criminal offence in August when the individual discharged an anti-riot weapon enfield (ARWEN) gun inside the hallway of a home in Orillia, striking a 16-year-old boy.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said that on Aug. 9, 2023, OPP officers went to a home for a family dispute.

“Upon arrival, officers were informed that the complainant, a 16-year-old boy with autism, refused to take his medications and had not slept for 27 hours. It was further reported that he had assaulted and choked two family members,” according to news release from the SIU on Thursday.

The SIU said when the boy saw officers in his home, he produced a knife and was shot once in the abdomen with the ARWEN, after which he was arrested.

The teen was taken by ambulance to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital and diagnosed with a large welt to the left abdomen but no serious injuries.

From there, he was taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie.

According to the SIU forensic investigator who attended the home, a spent ARWEN cartridge case and an ARWEN projectile was located in the hallway.

“The bedroom was in disarray. There was a kitchen paring knife on the floor just inside the bedroom door. The knife had a nine to ten-centimetre-long blade,” the investigator told the SIU.