Police watchdog finds no fault by OPP in Stratford arrest that left man seriously injured

An SIU vehicle is seen in this undated file photo.

Ontario's police watchdog has cleared the OPP after an investigation into a November arrest in Stratford that left a man seriously injured.

The Special Investigations Unit says two OPP officers responded to reports of a 41-year-old man found "passed out" in the driver's seat of a vehicle around 6 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2020.

According to a release, when police officers approached the vehicle, the man drove off into a corn field where he "remained for some time."

The SIU says additional officers were set up to contain the field and the man eventually drove out, striking several police cruisers in the process.

A spike belt was deployed and the man drove over it, with the vehicle becoming disabled a short distance away, the watchdog says.

After the man was arrested, he was transported to hospital and diagnosed with serious injuries, the release states.

Joseph Martino, director of the SIU, determined the officers conducted themselves with due care and regard for public safety in their participation in the man's arrest, adding there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges.

The file is now closed.