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GSPS officer cleared after suspect makes ‘a hasty exit’ out a window

Special Investigations Unit says ‘no reasonable grounds’ for charges

There won’t be any criminal charges for a Greater Sudbury Police officer after a suspect was injured during a 2016 drug search.

You can read the SIU’s full report here.

The incident occurred during a drug search of a two-storey townhouse in March 2016. The SIU decision was rendered June 21.

During the search, one of three people in the home fell out of a second-storey window, suffering a severe compound fracture to his left leg.

The officers involved testified that the man was in a room behind locked or blocked door. When the officer breached the door, he saw the man go out the window. The man fell 4.36 metres (about 14 feet) to the snowy ground below.

Officers testified the man resisted arrest, but was ultimately handcuffed and detained by two officers.

It was at this point SIU Director Tony Loparco said the man complained of pain and an ambulance was called.

Loparco said en route to hospital, the man told paramedics an officer had pushed him out a window.

His story changed, however, once he arrived at the hospital, Loparco said.

“The complainant told WO #1 that he had been outside playing in the snow with the children, and the police suddenly arrived and jumped or stomped on his leg,” Loparco wrote in the decision. “The complainant also alleged that an officer threw him over a fence and punched him in the face.”

The man denied jumping out the window. He was arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to traffic.

“The evidence as a whole indicates quite definitively that the complainant, upon hearing that police had breached the door and that they were about to execute a search warrant, decided to make a hasty exit out of the window,” Loparco’s decision states. “I find that the evidence of the civilian witnesses leaves little doubt that the complainant was attempting to shimmy down the curtains to the ground below in order to evade police, when he lost his grip and fell to the ground injuring his lower left leg.

“This conclusion is confirmed by all of the evidence of both police and civilian witnesses, and the complainant himself, when he tells conflicting versions of events to the police and medical staff.”

As to the man’s contention officers had stomped on his leg, punched him and threw him over a fence, Loparco said there’s no evidence any of that occurred.

“I find that no police officer had any hand in the complainant going out of the window or injuring his leg and that no officer used any force against the complainant whatsoever, other than to lift him up after he was injured and place him into a chair to await ambulance assistance,” he states in the decision.