Loading articles...

Guelph officer punching naked man in nose 'reasonable' use of force: SIU

An SIU vehicle sits parked outside Guelph General Hospital after a fatal shooting on May 20, 2015. CITYNEWS/Adrian Golombek

The province’s Special Investigations Unit says a Guelph, Ont., police officer’s use of force was reasonable in the arrest of a naked man a year ago.

The police watchdog agency says two officers located a man after responding to numerous reports on July 15, 2015, of a naked man walking along the street.

The officers approached the man, who had opened the door of a van and was rummaging through the contents, and apprehended him under the Mental Health Act.

Once handcuffed, the man became combative and kicked out at one of the officers four times, hitting the officer once.

The SIU says one of the officers struck the man once, and he became compliant and was taken to hospital with a fractured nasal bone.

SIU director Tony Loparco says the officer delivered a strike in response to the man lashing out physically, subdued the man with the single punch and no other force was applied after the punch.

“The subject officer refrained from using more significant use-of-force equipment available to him, pepper spray, and a conducted energy weapon,” Loparco said Tuesday.

The officer told the SIU that pepper spray was inappropriate in the confined area where the incident occurred and the man’s lack of clothing made it difficult to grab hold of him, Loparco said.

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.