(File photo by Maureen Revait, BlackburnNews.com)

SIU investigates assault suspect’s injury

The province’s police watchdog is investigating after an assault suspect was hurt during an arrest by London police Tuesday night.

Two officers were looking into a reported assault in the east-end when the man took off, heading westbound across Highbury Avenue. Police arrested the man a short distance away. He was taken to police headquarters, but after telling officers about an unspecified injury was later taken to hospital for treatment.

A 45-year-old London man has since been charged with assault, resisting arrest, and mischief under $5,000.

No officers were hurt during the arrest, police said.

The Special Investigations Unit was notified about the man’s injury and is now investigating the incident.

The launch of that investigation comes on the same day the SIU announced it had cleared London police in the injury of a motorcyclist a year ago on Brydges Street.

An officer spotted the 24-year-old man riding a motorcycle in east London around 7 p.m. on May 25, 2018. Believing the man was wanted by police, the officer attempted to stop the motorcycle. However, it sped away and the officer lost sight of it.

Shortly after, the motorcycle crashed through a fence on the southeast corner of Brydges and Cornish Streets, coming to rest in a church parking lot. The motorcyclist suffered several injuries including arm and hand fractures, a severed finger, and a lacerated liver.

A motorcycle crashed through a fence at Brydges and Cornish Streets, May 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of the SIU.

A motorcycle crashed through a fence at Brydges and Cornish Streets, May 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of the SIU.

The officer who had originally tried to stop the bike drove by the collision roughly 20 seconds after it happened without noticing it. He returned to the scene after being notified about it shortly after.

The SIU found the motorcyclist had been doing around 100 km/h prior to the crash. It is alleged he intentionally sped away from the officer as there were a number of outstanding warrants out for his arrest and the motorcycle was stolen.

“Aside from serving as the impetus for the Complainant’s [the motorcyclist’s] flight down Brydges Street, the officer had quickly lost sight of the motorcycle and was nowhere near it when the crash occurred. It was the Complainant’s conduct, and most emphatically his speed, that was solely to blame for the collision,” Interim Director of the Special Investigations Unit Joseph Martino said in a statement.

Martino also noted the officer operated his cruiser at reasonable speeds, never exceeded 60 km/h in the 50 km/h zone.

“It is apparent that the SO [subject officer] conducted himself at all times within the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law and there is, therefore, no basis upon which to proceed with criminal charges in this case,” said Martino.