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SIU finds no police wrongdoing in death of teen boy pursued by cop near Canada's Wonderland

Ontario's SIU has found no wrongdoing in connection with death of a 14-year-old boy who was being chased by a York Regional Police officer when he was struck by a driver in October 2023. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
Ontario's SIU has found no wrongdoing in connection with death of a 14-year-old boy who was being chased by a York Regional Police officer when he was struck by a driver in October 2023. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

Ontario's police watchdog has cleared a York Regional Police officer of wrongdoing in the death of a teen boy being pursued near Canada's Wonderland.

In a report released on Friday, Joseph Martino, director of Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU), said he found no evidence that the officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the death.

The SIU said a 14-year-old boy, who they initially reported was 17, was hit by a car on Jane Street, as he was fleeing from an officer on foot on Oct. 13, 2023. He died in hospital as a result of his injuries on Oct. 18.

At the time, the SIU said the officer, who was patrolling in the lot of Canada's Wonderland that day, saw the teen "behaving suspiciously.

"The officer told the SIU he chased the teen to stop and investigate him for robbery as he observed the complainant running towards Jane Street across his path," the Wednesday release said.

"Director Martino found it clear from the video footage that the male started to run away from the officer before the officer exited his cruiser."

Martino added that he found it unclear whether the male was even aware that the officer and did not find that meaning the boy was effectively forced onto the road.

"As such, there is no basis for proceeding with charges," he said.

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates police conduct that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and the discharge of a firearm at a person.