**** SiRT Media Release
No Charges Against HRP Officer – Death Ruled a Suicide
The Serious Incident Response Team released its report today regarding the investigation into the October 21, 2019 death of a male who fell from the MacDonald Bridge.
In the early morning hours of October 21, a Halifax Regional Police officer was involved in a slow speed pursuit of a vehicle, which began in Dartmouth after the driver failed to stop at a red light. During the pursuit, the vehicle travelled between Halifax and Dartmouth via the MacKay and MacDonald bridges. Several attempts were made to stop the vehicle but were unsuccessful.
When the Affected Party (AP) began to drive in a dangerous manner, a spike belt at the Dartmouth end of the MacKay was deployed and the gates on the toll lanes were closed. The car struck the belt, flattening a tire, but kept going on the rim and drove through a toll gate, snapping it off. The AP continued on toward Dartmouth evading police.
At approximately 2 a.m., an officer was travelling from Halifax to Dartmouth on the MacDonald Bridge and met the AP’s vehicle at mid span of the bridge. The officer radioed his position and requested officer assistance; several officers responded. The AP stopped his vehicle, exited from the driver’s side door and ran to the fencing along the pedway attempting to climb over the fence. One of the responding officers, the Subject Officer (SO) ran after the AP and caught up to him just as he climbed over the safety barrier. The SO was able to get a hold of the AP while he was on the other side of the fence. However, he lost his grip on the AP who was struggling with him and the AP fell to his death.
The SiRT Investigation found that the police did not follow AP at a high rate of speed and were not following him at all when his vehicle went onto the MacDonald Bridge the last time. The SO who was able to reach the AP did everything he could to prevent AP from falling but was unable to maintain his hold.
The death was ruled a suicide. In these circumstances, there are no grounds to consider any charges against the responding officer.
A complete copy of the report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca
Serious Incident Response Team is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing.