SIU clears Sarnia police after woman fractures spine during arrest

Special Investigations Unit

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared a Sarnia police officer of any wrongdoing after a woman suffered a fractured spine during an arrest over the summer.

In a news release, the SIU said on August 2, 2021, two officers attempted to arrest a woman for mischief. She was allegedly blocking motorists from leaving a self storage facility on Devine Street. Some of the complaint calls to emergency dispatchers allege that the woman also began to physically attack other people.

The SIU said the woman resisted officers by hanging onto a guide wire from a nearby utility pole.

One of the arresting officers allegedly swept her feet from under her. In doing so, the officer fell on top of her. She was subsequently handcuffed, and an ambulance was requested.

The woman was transported to Bluewater Health in Sarnia where she was diagnosed with a fracture to her thoracic spine. At the time, she was said to be in stable condition.

SIU Director Joseph Martino said “the subject official was entitled to resort to a measure of force to overcome the woman’s resistance and place her under lawful arrest, and that the force used was legally justified in the circumstances.”

The file has been closed.

A link to the full report can be found here.

-With files from Ruby Sweeney