The Ontario police watchdog has found “no reasonable grounds” to believe that a St. Thomas police officer committed a criminal offence after a man “suffered a sudden medical episode” while in the custody.
The 29-year-old man was in the custody of St. Thomas Police Service on Dec. 9, 2021, after being arrested for impaired driving while on drugs, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said Wednesday.
In an email in December, SIU spokesperson Kristy Denette said officers had responded to a domestic call that reportedly involved a 29-year-old man.
“Before police arrived, the man fled. Police located him while he entered a vehicle. He was arrested and brought to the police station,” Denette said at the time.
While in custody the man “fell into medical distress” and was taken to the hospital by paramedics, the SIU said in a statement.
Because the incident happened while the man was in police custody the provinces police watchdog was called in to investigate.
SIU director Joseph Martino said he “found no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the involved officers transgressed the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. The file has been closed.”
Very few details were made public by police, who said in a three-line media release that the man was “immediately” taken to hospital by paramedics. Further inquiries were directed to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
– with files from Matthew Trevithick