SIU: Sault police officer cleared of charges

On March 1, 2024, a troubling incident unfolded in the custody of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. A 54-year-old man, who had been arrested on an outstanding warrant, suddenly fell gravely ill while detained in the police station’s holding cells. The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service promptly notified the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the independent civilian oversight agency tasked with investigating incidents involving police and civilians that result in serious injury or death. The SIU immediately launched a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s medical crisis.

According to the details provided, the incident began when the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service arrested the 54-year-old man at his residence on March 1st at around 3:32 pm. At the time of his arrest, the man had consumed an unknown quantity of the potent opioid fentanyl. Recognizing the man’s dire condition, the arresting officers quickly administered the life-saving drug Narcan and called for emergency medical assistance. The man was rushed to the Sault Area Hospital for urgent treatment. After being discharged from the hospital later that evening, the man was lodged in the police station’s holding cells to await a bail hearing the following day.

Throughout the night, the police officers on duty diligently monitored the man’s condition, placing him in the recovery position when they found him asleep and unresponsive at 7:30 pm. However, just a few hours later at 11:48 pm, the officers observed that the man had not moved and was exhibiting shallow breathing and a weak pulse. Raising immediate alarm, the officers summoned paramedics, who rushed the man back to the hospital, where he was admitted to the intensive care unit in critical condition.

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service promptly notified the SIU of the incident. After a thorough investigation and assessment of the evidence, SIU Director Joseph Martino determined that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the involved police officers had committed a criminal offense in connection with the man’s medical crisis. This finding underscores the complex and delicate nature of such incidents, where officers must balance the duty of care for those in their custody with the unpredictable and potentially life-threatening circumstances that can unfold.


  • Craig Huckerby

    Craig Huckerby is a seasoned broadcast and media professional with over 43 years in local media. Starting in television, Craig became known as "the weather guy" on local television before pioneering internet media in the Sault. Craig is credited for bringing local television back to the Sault via the internet in 2003 with LTVNEWS.COM and was instrumental in launching and Craig has also won numerous International Film awards for director of the documentary, "Was I Next?, The Sean Cribbin Story"

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