The Ontario Special Investigations Unit says no further action is necessary in a case where three motorcycles sped away from a Windsor police cruiser and two later collided, seriously injuring one rider.
Shortly after midnight on September 23, 2015, three men were driving motorcycles north on Ouellette Avenue near Giles Boulevard.
The SIU says the subject officer and a witness officer were together on patrol and noticed the motorcyclists speeding and driving recklessly. The officers followed the motorcyclists on Ouellette Avenue.
“The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving under section 249 of the Criminal Code,” says SIU Acting Director Joseph Martino in a news release. “Liability under the section is premised on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. “
As the vehicles turned left to travel west on Riverside Drive, the officers turned on the cruiser’s emergency lights in an effort to have the motorcyclists pull over.
At that point, two of the motorcycles sped away from the officers at speeds well in excess of 100 km/hr, according to the SIU.
Near Janette Avenue, the officers activated their sirens and the third motorcycle sped away. The officers lost sight of all three motorcycles.
Shortly after, near Campbell Avenue, two of the motorcyclists collided with each other, lost control of their bikes and crashed, say police.
One of the motorcyclists, a man, suffered a broken left ankle and was taken to hospital. The other male motorcyclist did not suffer any serious injuries.
Martino says he found there was very little if anything the officers did wrong.
“Given the speeds of the motorcycles and the manner in which they were being operated, the officers were well within their rights when they first began to follow and then attempted to stop the motorcyclists for traffic infractions,” says Martino.
Four investigators, two forensic investigators, and one collision reconstructionist were assigned to this incident.
The SIU says the subject officer provided a copy of his duty notes but did not participate in an SIU interview, as was his legal right.
Eight witness officers were interviewed, including the officer who was a passenger in the cruiser that followed the motorcycles. Six civilian witnesses were also interviewed.
The complainant (injured person) declined to be interviewed as did the second motorcyclist involved in the collision. The third motorcyclist was never identified.
“I am satisfied that the care exercised by the officers in the course of this short-lived pursuit – no longer than about one and half kilometres – fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law,” says Martino. “Accordingly, there are no reasonable grounds to proceed with charges in this case.”