Police watchdog clears officer who intentionally ran over knife-wielding suspect downtown

Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared an officer who intentionally drove into a knife-wilding suspect in Toronto’s downtown core last spring, causing him to sustain a fractured wrist and foot.

Police were initially called to a store in the area of King and Bathurst streets for reports of a robbery at around 6:10 p.m. on April 12, 2020.

When they arrived on scene they immediately located the suspect in the area and directed him to drop the large knife he was holding.

The suspect refused to comply and proceeded to walk southbound along Bathurst Street.

In his report, SIU Director Joseph Martino says that a number of officers pursued the suspect. He said that a total of seven different officers discharged conducted energy weapons in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to stop.

However, Martino said that the suspect’s winter jacket “appears to have prevented the probes that were on target from penetrating through to his skin.”

Martino said that another officer then intentionally bumped the suspect with his vehicle on three separate occasions but each time the suspect only stumbled and was able to regain his footing with “the knife still in his right hand.”

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