The province’s police watchdog has concluded its investigation into a September 2, 2018 incident that saw a London police cruiser strike a 20-year-old man who was laying down on the street.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) found that the officer, who was travelling 20 km/h at the time, had “no reason to suspect that someone might take the sort of unusual action adopted by the Complainant.”
According to the SIU, the officer was responding to a call for a suspicious man walking up and down driveways with a flashlight in the area of Leroy Avenue east of Taylor Street just before 12:30 a.m. on September 2, 2018 when he heard a bump on his cruiser.
The SIU says the officer quickly stopped his vehicle and when he got out to look, he found the complainant with blood on his head. The officer arranged for an ambulance to attend the scene and the man was taken to hospital where he required six stitches to his left arm and “a large number of stitches to his head area … which will leave permanent scars.”
X-rays and a CT scan, however, did not find any fractures.
Before the crash, the SIU says one motorist had already had to navigate around the complainant, who had laid down on the road and appeared to be using his mobile phone.
The SIU says that at the time of the incident, the road was dry and in good repair and there did not appear to be any other motorists in the area. It’s not clear whether or not the cruiser’s headlights were on at the time.
The police watchdog also notes that it cannot say why the officer didn’t see the complainant when another motorist had already maneuvered around him. Calling it “sheer speculation,” the SIU said it’s possible the complainant was no longer using his cellphone, “the light from which may have alerted the earlier motorist to his presence.”
Still, the SIU has concluded the officer did not transgress “the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law.”
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