SIU clears Lambton OPP officers after suspect fleeing ride check injured

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The scene of the incident investigated by the SIU after a car tried to avoid a RIDE check on Petrolia Line in 2022.

The Special Investigations Unit has cleared two Lambton OPP officers after a suspects suffered injuries in an arrest.

In Dec. 2022, police were conducting a RIDE check on Petrolia Line when they noticed a car do a U-Turn.

Police found the vehicle on First Ave and Pearl Street. The driver wasn’t licensed and police found the passenger was in breach of bail conditions which said he had to be in his home at all time except for medical appointments.

Police tried to arrest the person and the SIU report said he was “uncooperative and assaultive.

“The Complainant initially put up his arms as if to surrender, but then attempted to flee when (one officer) took hold of one of his arms. As the officer struggled to hold on, the complainant rounded the back of the vehicle before he and the officer were tackled to the ground by the other OPP officer,” writes SIU Director Joseph Martino.

The suspect tried to get up, “bucking and thrashing, trying to free himself” so the officers “punched him several times in the head area” while the other delivered knee blows to the suspects thigh. The suspect was eventually handcuffed.

The man was taken to hospital with a broken orbital bone and fractured nose.

Martino says police officers are immune from criminal liability for force used in the course of their duties provided such force was reasonably necessary.

Martino says the suspects “attempted to escape apprehension and had doggedly managed to pull (one officer) several metres in his flight.

“The complainant suggests that he was beaten by the officers even as he put up no resistance to their efforts. That proposition, however, is belied by the accounts of (the officers) and, importantly, civilian eyewitnesses.”