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SIU rules Guelph Police not at fault for overdose that sent woman to ICU

The incident, involving a 22-year-old who was threatening self-harm, occured on Dec. 13, 2020
SIU vehicle

MISSISSAUGA – The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has terminated an investigation into an incident last month in Guelph.

On the evening of Dec. 13, 2020, The Guelph Police Service was alerted that a 22-year-old woman was threatening self-harm. Officers were dispatched to locate the woman and quickly found her in a vehicle in a parking lot at the University of Guelph. Approaching the vehicle on foot, one of the officers spoke with the woman through her closed driver’s door window. After police spent 10 to 15 minutes attempting to dissuade the woman from harming herself, the woman consumed a large quantity of prescription medication. At that point, an officer broke the driver’s door window, whereupon the woman was removed from her vehicle, taken to a waiting ambulance and rushed to hospital where the woman spent time in the Intensive Care Unit.  

Director Martino said, “Based on the SIU’s preliminary inquiries, it is evident that the officers on scene did nothing to cause or contribute to the woman’s overdose. As a result, there is no question of potential criminal liability on the part of any police officer. The investigation is hereby discontinued and the file is closed.”       

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians.