SIU ends Windsor death investigation

(File photo by Maureen Revait, BlackburnNews.com)

The Special Investigations Unit has terminated an investigation into the death of a 51-year-old man last month in Windsor.

The incident that sparked the investigation happened on January 3 around 9 p.m. when a woman reported that her vehicle had been stolen in the area of Ottawa Street and Gladstone Avenue.

According to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Windsor police observed the stolen vehicle and began following it at a slow rate of speed. The vehicle then hit a parking sign and then the driver and the 51-year-old passenger ran from the scene.

The driver was arrested while the passenger ran to a nearby apartment. As he entered the doorway of the second-story apartment unit, he collapsed. Residents called 911 and started CPR before paramedics arrived. The man was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

SIU Director Joseph Martino noted that, although police responded to the apartment, officers did not physically engage with the man at any time.

“The pathologist at autopsy declared that the cause of the man’s death was pending the results of toxicological and histological analyses. He attributed certain rib injuries to old fractures, which had not healed properly. The newer rib fractures were, in his view, consistent with the chest compressions the man received during the efforts that were made to resuscitate him. None of the injuries, according to the pathologist, contributed to the man’s death,” said Martino. “The pathologist’s opinion is also consistent with the minor nature of the impact that occurred between the parking sign and the vehicle in which the man was a passenger, which in my view was unlikely to have caused any serious injury.”

Martino added that there is no question of any criminal offence being committed by police in connection to the death and as a result, the investigation is officially complete.

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.