SIU clears Waterloo police officer after suspect rides BMX bike into Grand River in Cambridge

The Grand River in Cambridge, Ont. Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

The province’s police watchdog has cleared Waterloo Regional Police of any wrongdoing after a woman rode a BMX bike into the Grand River in Cambridge with police in pursuit last October.

A report from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says the officers first spotted the suspect on Main Street in Cambridge as they passed her travelling on the sidewalk on the bike.

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The SIU says the officers ran a background check on her that showed she was violating a judicial order.

The agency says that once the woman clued into the fact that she was being followed by the cruiser, she picked up speed on the bike before riding away.

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The officers then reportedly followed her through the downtown core before she rode onto a path leading to a footbridge over the river.

The cops stopped, with one hopping out to give chase on foot.

As she reached the bridge, the SIU says the woman veered and took her bike down a set of stairs but then lost control as she reached the bottom and landed in the river.

The officers arrested the woman but she complained of injuries to her ankle and her wrist so the paramedics were called.

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She was transported to hospital, where she was diagnosed with a fractured wrist.

The SIU conducted its investigation to see whether the officer behind the wheel had conducted himself in a proper manner.

“At no point was the complainant imperiled by the (officer)’s manner of driving, nor were third-party motorists or pedestrians in the vicinity,” SIU director Joseph Martino wrote in his report.

“In fact, this was a slow speed engagement meant to track the Complainant’s movements from a distance more than anything else.

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“On this record, I am satisfied that the (officer who was driving the vehicle) conducted himself with due care and regard for the safety of the public around him, and that the complainant is alone responsible for her self-inflicted injury.”

The SIU is an independent agency that investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death, serious injury or alleged sexual assault.

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