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SIU clears OPP, Durham police after Port Hope carjacking suspect dies from self-inflicted wounds

Click to play video: 'Hostage recounts fatal carjacking incident in Port Hope as SIU release report' Hostage recounts fatal carjacking incident in Port Hope as SIU release report
The Ontario Special Investigations Unit has completed investigations into the OPP and Durham Regional Police Service following a fatal carjacking incident that occurred earlier this year. After being taken hostage, one of the survivors is speaking on her experiences from that day. Sam Houpt reports… – May 10, 2022

Ontario’s police watchdog says the police did not commit a criminal offence in connection with a carjacking and police pursuit that ended in the death of a man in Durham region in January 2022.

According to a report from Special Investigations Unit director Joseph Martino, a 45-year-old man was initially involved in a two-vehicle crash in Port Hope and left the scene. Investigators located a handgun in the vehicle.

The report says the man, brandishing a machete, fled to traffic on Hwy. 401 and Hwy. 28 and “accosted motorists as they passed him, attempting to commandeer their vehicles.”

The SIU is an independent agency that investigates the conduct of officers in incidents that have resulted in death, serious injury, or alleged sexual assault.

Read more: SIU investigating after crash involving stolen truck from Port Hope leaves man dead, one injured

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The man eventually entered a pickup truck waiting at the drive-thru lane of a Tim Hortons. From the rear driver’s side seat, the man — at knifepoint — ordered the driver to drive away. There was a second individual in the vehicle at the time.

Police attempted pursuit. Eventually Northumberland OPP officers deployed a spike belt in the area of Highway 115/35 in Clarington. The vehicle struck the spike belt and was subsequently forced off the roadway into a ditch by OPP officers, Martino said.

The report says OPP and Durham Regional Police Service officers located the suspect with knife wounds and administered CPR. He was taken via air ambulance to a hospital in Toronto.

“The man died of self-inflicted knife wounds,” the report states.

Prior to the wounds, Martino notes, the suspect twice stabbed one of the individuals in the vehicle in the back.

“On my assessment of the evidence, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers involved in this incident committed a criminal offence in connection with the complainant’s death,” he said. “There is no indication of any force having been directly applied to the complainant by any police officer, and certainly none in connection with the mortal neck wounds he suffered. Those, the evidence makes clear, were self-inflicted by the complainant at the end of a police pursuit.”

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“The officers who pursued the truck the complainant was effectively operating were within their rights in attempting to stop the vehicle,” Martino said.

Click to play video: 'SIU investigating after police chase involving a stolen pickup truck from Port Hope leaves one man dead, one injured' SIU investigating after police chase involving a stolen pickup truck from Port Hope leaves one man dead, one injured
SIU investigating after police chase involving a stolen pickup truck from Port Hope leaves one man dead, one injured – Jan 10, 2022

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