A Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officer won’t face charges after a man received a broken nose and fractured spine in a 2018 scuffle in Grimsby, according to the province’s police watchdog.
In a decision from late August, Joseph Martino, interim director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), said the officer was “entitled” to “act quickly” and take the complainant to the ground “where he could better control him.”
In the incident narrative, Martino says the man approached the officer with a child’s baseball bat after the policeman paid a visit to the complainant’s home in regards to an incident at a bar the night before.
The officer, who was checking out a harassment complaint lodged by staff at the Grimsby bar, was able to take the complainant down and “maintained him on the ground” before a fellow officer could arrive to help, according to the report.
At the time the only noticeable injury the suspect had was a cut to the forehead. When the officers and paramedics tried to transport the injured man to hospital, the man refused and had to be sedated.
Later, the complainant was diagnosed with a broken nose, a fractured spine and a laceration to the forehead, said Martino.
“When the complainant advanced toward the SO (Subject Officer) wielding a baseball bat, the officer had every reason to believe he was being assaulted and was entitled therefore to effect an arrest,” Martino said before closing the case file.
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