SIU reopens probe into case of woman injured in Orillia
An Orillia woman who was injured in an incident involving an OPP sergeant says she is thrillied to hear that Ontario's police watchdog will reopen a new investigation into the case.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) says Maria Tonie Farrell was injured in 2013 during an "interaction" with OPP Sgt. Russell Watson.
Farrell suffered a broken leg during what the SIU is calling an interaction with Sgt. Watson in downtown Orillia.
Farrell had said she was trying to report a crime to the officer when she was kicked to the ground by Watson.
Farrell was charged by police with assaulting and obstructing a police officer but Ontario Court Justice George Beatty dismissed the charges in December.
Following that review, the SIU says it decided to reopen the case but will make no further comment while the investigation is ongoing.
Farrell told CTV News on Wednesday night that she is happy to hear the latest news. She says her recovery from the injuries is still very painful and she is still seeing numerous specialists.
Both Farrell and her lawyer believe the officer should be held accountable.
“For Tonie it would mean an opportunity to have Mr. Watson held accountable. Every day she lives with the difficulty of the pain, the trauma of having been so brutally assaulted and no one has been held accountable for that so this is an opportunity for someone to be finally be held accountable,” says Farrell’s lawyer Angela McLeod.
The OPP told CTV News last month that Sergeant Watson remained on duty in Orillia.
The OPP told CTV News on Wednesday they will not be commenting on the SIU’s investigation and the SIU says it will not comment until its investigation is finished.
The SIU is an arm's-length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.
With files from The Canadian Press