Hamilton senior's fall while in police custody deemed a 'simple accident': watchdog

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Ontario's police watchdog has ended the investigation into an incident where a Hamilton senior fractured his hip while in the custody of Hamilton Police Service (HPS) officers.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was looking into the incident, which occurred May 3, after the 78-year-old sustained the injury after falling out of a chair in a hospital waiting room.

On the afternoon of the incident, an SIU press says, a family member of the man called police to express concern about his well-being.

As a result, two HPS officers attended the man's apartment unit on Jerome Crescent in Stoney Creek.

Police say that based on comments made by the man, officers apprehended him under the Mental Health Act and escorted him to hospital for examination.

While at the hospital, the man fell off of a chair as he went to sit down and the tumble resulted in a fractured right hip.

Upon review of the case, the director of the SIU, Joseph Martino, has determined an investigation is unwarranted.

"In my view, the man's apprehension by officers was lawful under the Mental Health Act," Martino says in the press release.

"With respect to the man's fall, I am satisfied that there is no question of any criminal liability arising from the circumstances surrounding the fall, which appears to have been a simple, albeit unfortunate, accident. Accordingly, the investigation is hereby discontinued, and the file is closed."

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