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Province's SIU clears OPP officer after man's death following police dog bite


The province's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has cleared an OPP officer of any wrongdoing in connection to the death of a Midland man in November 2023.

The SIU was called in to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Dale Lewis. The 45-year-old died in hospital on Nov. 5, nearly one month after being bit by a police dog during an arrest.

The incident took place on Oct. 13. Officers negotiated with Lewis, who was barricaded inside a Midland apartment, for nearly nine hours.

According to the report by the SIU, the police dog was deployed after negotiations were proving futile around the five-hour mark. The dog bit and held the man, allowing police to place him under arrest, an action the SIU report deemed as necessary force.

SIU Director Joseph Martino said it remains unclear whether the dog bite and subsequent infection were related in any way to the man's death. However, the report says the exact cause of Lewis' death is still not known.

CTV News Public Safety Analyst and former OPP commissioner Chris Lewis had suggested to CTV News in November 2023 that he found the SIU's involvement in the case puzzling.

"Certainly, police K9 units have bitten people and injured them over the years; that kind of comes with the turf, but someone actually dying as a result of that is a very rare occurrence," Lewis said in November.

The SIU is called in anytime police are involved in an incident that results in death, serious injury, sexual assault or the discharge of a weapon at another person.

With files from CTV's Mike Arsalides & CTV's Kim Phillips. Top Stories

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