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SIU clears officers of wrongdoing in Georgian Bay incident

Directors 'found no reasonable grounds' officers committed crime in firing at man on boat in Freddy Channel
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The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined police did not commit a criminal offence after firing at a man in a boat on Georgian Bay in May.

Southern Georgian Bay OPP responded May 28 to reports of “a distraught lone male in a small vessel drifting in the Freddy Channel.”

The next day, the SIU reported OPP Marine Unit and tactical officers “located the 72-year-old man, and an interaction ensued.

“Officers discharged their ARWENs (Anti-Riot Weapon Enfields) in the direction of the man’s boat, and the man was apprehended and taken to hospital. He was not diagnosed with any serious injury.”

A news release issued Friday by the SIU provided further details of the incident.

It noted officers were provided with information from the wife of the man on the boat, and others, “that he was in crisis and in possession of several firearms.

“As they approached the man in their police vessel, the officers attempted to negotiate with the man to surrender and raise his hands. He refused and retrieved his rifle. Both officers fired their less lethal weapons. He was arrested and was not injured. None of the rounds struck the man.”

The release stated SIU director Joseph Martino “has found no reasonable grounds” to believe the two officers involved committed a criminal offence by firing ARWENs at the man.

The file has been closed as there is “no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case,” the release stated.

The full director’s report can be found here.