SIU clear police of charges in fatal fall from balcony investigation in Burlington

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Published November 4, 2023 at 10:49 am

man and woman fall from balcony in burlington. Siu conclude investigation.

Halton Regional Police officers face no criminal charges following an incident where a woman died and a man suffered serious injuries, after falling from an apartment balcony in Burlington.

On Friday (Jul. 7)  The Tactical Response Unit (TRU) were dispatched to Ghent Avenue, southeast of Brant Street, regarding a visible firearm inside of an apartment unit.

Officers arrived at 9:50 p.m. and began knocking on the apartment door where a woman and man were inside.

SIU say, in response to the police presence, a 24-year-old woman attempted to flee by climbing down the balcony of the apartment unit, resulting in a fall.

At around 10:12 p.m., officers left their positions outside the apartment door, responding to a call about a woman falling onto a balcony multiple stories below.

With the occupant’s consent, officers entered the apartment, finding the 911 caller administering emergency first-aid to the woman, who was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Subsequently, a 29-year-old man tried a similar escape, falling and sustaining serious injuries.

He was taken to the hospital and received treatment for a brain injury, SIU say.

According to the SIU, investigations revealed that the initial call to the police was made by an individual who had left the gathering inside the apartment unit after a man had purportedly brandished a handgun.

The Special Investigations Unit’s Director, Joseph Martino, conducted a thorough investigation, finding no grounds for criminal charges against the officers.

Martino stated, “though they could not be sure whether she had been pushed, jumped in an act of self-harm, or accidentally fallen, it was imperative that officers make entry in the apartment to ensure public safety.”

“Particularly as someone had been observed peering over the balcony as care was being provided to the woman,” he noted.

He concluded that the officers’ response was considered reasonable due to the reported firearm threat, and they were recognized for acting within the legal limits of care, while addressing the evolving situation.

“The cased is closed,” Martino added.

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