SIU to probe man’s death following ‘medical distress’ involving Peterborough police

Click to play video: 'SIU probes circumstances of ‘medical’ distress’ that led to man’s death during situation with Peterborough police'
SIU probes circumstances of ‘medical’ distress’ that led to man’s death during situation with Peterborough police
The SIU are investigating after a man went into medical distress and later died in hospital following an interaction with the Peterborough Police Service in the city's north end on Aug. 11, 2023 – Aug 12, 2023

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate after a man died following a crash and interaction with police in the north end of Peterborough on Friday afternoon.

According to the Peterborough Police Service, around 2:15 p.m., a Jeep driving erratically passed an officer on general patrol. Police say the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Parkhill Road East when the vehicle fled.

Police called off a short pursuit due to public safety.

A Jeep crashed into a pole at the intersection of Towerhill Road and Chemong Road in Peterborough on Aug. 11, 2023. Harrison Perkins/Special to Global News Peterborough

Around 2:30 p.m., officers then responded to reports of a Jeep which had crashed into a pole at the intersection of Chemong Road and Towerhill Road in the north end.

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Police determined it was the same suspect vehicle and that the driver had fled on foot into a nearby business.

Several witnesses told Global New Peterborough that a man was brandishing what appeared to be a handgun as he ran into the nearby Peterborough Volkswagen dealership.

On Facebook, witness Barry Killen said the vehicle had nearly collided head-on with a city bus before failing to negotiate the turn and struck the pole.

“The guy then took off on foot, as he was running up the grassy knoll and headed towards Peterborough Volkswagen,” he said.

“Peterborough Volkswagen staff are all safe and apparently the police have the area cordoned off.”

Police say while inside the business, the driver was involved in an “interaction with an employee.”

“Officers verbally engaged with the individual and shortly thereafter, the individual appeared to go into medical distress,” police stated.

Police say officers on scene administered first aid on the man. He was transported by paramedics to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre where he was pronounced deceased, police said.

Police chief Stuart Betts issued a stated that the investigation is now under the SIU.

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“I’d like to acknowledge the professionalism of our dispatchers and officers for how they handled this call and victim services for their support to all involved, including the deceased’s family and members of the public who may require assistance,” he stated on X (Twitter).


The SIU on Friday night provided a similar outline, noting the suspect was a 28-year-old man.

The SIU also stated that when officers entered the dealership, the man — who appeared to be armed — “consumed a substance.”

“At some point, the man went vital signs absent and first-aid was administered,” the SIU stated. “He was transported to hospital where he was pronounced deceased.”

Four SIU investigators and two forensic investigators have been assigned to the case.

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The SIU is urging anyone who may have information about the incident, including video or photos, to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529 or online.

The SIU, Ontario’s police watchdog, is an independent agency that investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

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