The province’s police watchdog has cleared four Hamilton officers of any wrongdoing during the arrest of a murder suspect in March.
Special Investigations Unit (SIU) director Joseph Martino concluded that despite a 54-year-old complainant suffering a broken rib, there was no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in the case.
“There are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the subject officials conducted themselves unlawfully in the course of his arrest and throughout his period of custody,” Martino said in his report.
Hamilton police say they were called to a high rise at 1968 Main St. W. near Wilson Street East on the afternoon of March 14, where they found 73-year-old George Howson suffering from serious injuries.
His stepson, 54-year-old Timothy Brown, was arrested at the scene and charged with aggravated assault.
Police say Howson succumbed to his injuries on March 24 and as a result, charges against Brown were upgraded to second-degree murder.
Brown had no prior criminal history, according to police, and the incident was related to an ongoing investigation involving “family troubles.”
During the arrest in March, Martino described three interactions between Brown and the officers, one at the scene and two while in custody.
The first was at the apartment on Main Street as officers attempted to secure Brown in handcuffs, the others in a hallway at a police station when the accused resisted entering an elevator, the report says.
The suspect was hit with a conducted energy weapon multiple times at the station, which did not quell the complainant’s fight, according to Martino.
The report says the complainant suffered two fractured ribs at one point, but Martino said the investigation was unable to conclude if the officers used excessive force, given the level of resistance to the arrest, which included kicking an officer in the groin.
Brown also had a broken hand, but the investigation suggests that might have happened during the incident that led to his arrest.