SIU says force was used in January arrest that resulted in fractures, but it wasn’t excessive

Armed man suffered fractures to face after officer punched him

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared a Barrie Police officer of wrongdoing after a man suffered injuries during a January arrest.

Barrie Police were called to a home near Ardagh Road and Mapleton Avenue on New Year’s Day with reports a man was refusing to leave the residence. Responding officers say the man had a knife strapped to his leg, and backup was called when the man refused to respond to questions or commands.

Police say the man pulled his knife after backup arrived, and waved it at officers. A taser was used to try to subdue the suspect; when that failed, the SIU says one officer struck the man in the face.

The suspect was placed under arrest and taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, where he was diagnosed with a fractured cheek and nose.

SIU Director Joseph Martino said while there was force used, it didn’t meet the point where it could be called excessive. “Given the nature of the threat they were faced with, a lethal threat, I am not satisfied on reasonable grounds that the subject officer fell afoul of the limits of permissible force,” said Martino in his report. “There is no evidence of any other significant force being brought to bear against the Complainant other than what was necessary to wrestle control of his arms so they could be handcuffed once he had been taken to the bedroom floor.”