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Quinte West OPP officer cleared in case of Trenton man who fell to his death

By Kayla Haggett [1]

BELLEVILLE – A Quinte West OPP officer will not be charged in connection with the death of a man who fell from a roof in October 2016.

The Special Investigation Unit [2], a civilian law agency that investigates complaints against police, had a team of six investigators and one forensic investigator examine the case. The SIU announced Thursday that no charges would be laid against the officer in question.

The 52-year-old Trenton man fell from an apartment balcony on Oct. 13, 2016, after repeated attempts by police to get him to return inside the building. The man was wanted on several outstanding warrants, and when police found him standing on the balcony with a noose tied around his neck he told them he planned to jump and would not return to jail, according to the investigation unit. 

Police negotiated with the man for around four hours before he fell over the balcony’s railing. An officer grabbed his arm in an attempt to prevent the fall, but the man pushed him away, after which the officer grabbed the rope attached to the man to try to stop his fall. 

The rope broke and the man fell 28 feet to his death. 

Joseph Martino, the acting director of the unit, said there were no reasonable grounds to charge the officer involved. 

“The complainant died because he was intent on not going into police custody, and was willing to die for that end,” wrote Martino in a report released Thursday [3]. “He died because of his own actions, and in the circumstances, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any charges should issue.”