Officer cleared after cruiser and civilian vehicle crash injured two in Pickering

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Published February 14, 2024 at 10:33 am

Crashed Acura

The Durham Regional Police officer behind the wheel of a cruiser when it crashed into a civilian vehicle and injured the two occupants will not be charged.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the officer and his partner were dispatched to a car theft in progress on Oct. 17. The 911 caller had reported a group of three men had arrived at his home near Strouds Ln. and Whites Rd. in an Acura TLX sedan. When he called around 4 a.m, the group was in the middle of stealing the caller’s Toyota.

The responding officers met with another police SUV near the scene and decided each vehicle would approach the home from the opposite directions. As the cruisers pinched in near the Acura, it rapidly tried to flee.

The 911 dispatcher, still on the line with the caller, said “Okay, the cops are here,” then, “Now it’s a chase.” Seconds later the sounds of the crash are heard. As the Acura took off, it collided with one of the cruisers and quickly came to a stop.

The two police SUVs briefly continued and ended up crashing into each other. The officers were still able to get out of their cars and rush the Acura. They arrested the trio. One was taken to jail, but the other two needed medical treatment for various broken bones.

Following the crash, the SIU was called in to investigate. Director Joseph Martino released his final report on Feb. 13. He found there was no reason to criminally charge the officer driving the SUV.

He said the only charge for him to consider was dangerous driving causing bodily harm, which requires evidence the officer acted with an unreasonable level of negligence. Instead he concluded the officers all acted with “due care and regard for public safety.”

“The plan to approach the suspects from both ends of a roadway made sense as it would significantly limit the possibility of escape,” Martino continued, “Implicit in the officers’ tactic was a blockade of sorts and a risk of vehicle-to-vehicle contact, particularly if the Acura chose to attempt an escape. That risk, in my view, was a calculated one and did not unduly jeopardize public safety.”

 

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