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Ottawa man dies during police transport, prompting watchdog probe

The Special Investigations Unit has cleared an Ottawa-area OPP officer in a man's drowning death this past summer. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating after the agency says a man died while Ottawa police were transporting him to a local shelter over the weekend.

The Special Investigations Unit, Ontario’s independent agency to investigate deaths involving police, said in a release it has invoked its mandate in relation to an incident in Ottawa on Saturday.

The SIU said Ottawa police officers were called to the Lord Elgin Hotel at approximately 12:15 p.m. to respond to reports of an intoxicated man in front of the hotel.

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Responding officers spoke to the man and agreed to transport him to the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter, according to the release.

When police arrived at the shelter, however, they noticed the man had become “unresponsive,” the SIU said.

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Police called for emergency medical services, but the man was declared dead in the ambulance at 1:17 p.m., the release said.

SIU investigators are currently trying to identify the man.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529.

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