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Says 'the fight isn't over' after his son was hurt in police incident

By Gisele Winton Sarvis, Special to Postmedia Network

MIDLAND – “The fight isn’t over,” says David Bujold Sr.

Bujold is trying to get the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) case regarding Midland police and his son, also named David, reopened.

“I’ve been talking to the SIU. There is some evidence (available now) that wasn’t available at the time,” Bujold said.

“The jail finally got my son X-rayed. He has two jaw fractures,” Bujold said. David junior has been held at the Central North Correctional Centre (CNCC) in Penetanguishene since the Sept. 27 incident.

Midland police has been cleared after David Bujold Jr., 21, suffered injuries as a result of being struck in the back with a flashlight at the scene of a suspected break, enter and theft.

According to the SIU, Midland police responded to a home on Yonge Street after two men were spotted removing furniture from the home at about 8 p.m.

Police arrived and entered the home through an open rear door. When they confronted the men one of them ran to the front door to elude police because of an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

The officers were unaware at the time the men were hired to move the furniture out of the home.

When officers caught up with the man, he resisted arrest and his shirt was ripped off during the struggle before police struck him in the back with a flash light. He was arrested.

While he was in a jail cell, his back went into spasms and he was taken to Georgian Bay General Hospital where he was diagnosed with a closed fracture in his lower back.

SIU officials and forensic personnel investigated the incident and interviewed a witness officer and six civilian witnesses.

Both officers involved with the arrest declined to be interviewed and didn't provide copies of their duty notes, which is their legal right.

SIU director Ian Scott said the police executed their investigation based on the information they had at the time.

“The subject officers had an honest but mistaken belief that the man and his associate were involved in a break and enter and theft from the Yonge Street residence. After confronting the officers, the man ran in an attempt to elude apprehension due to an outstanding warrant," Scott said.

"The subject officers reasonably concluded that the man was involved in a break and enter, and accordingly had the lawful authority to arrest him and to use reasonable force in that arrest," Scott added. "Given the complainant’s level of resistance, I am of the view that the force used was not excessive in these circumstances even though it caused him a serious injury.”

An SIU spokeswoman said the organization will consider any new information.

“If anybody has any further evidence, they are welcome to bring it forth to the SIU to reopen the case,” said Monica Hudon. “The director has to be satisfied that the new information available could materially affect the outcome of an investigation."

Midland Police Chief Michael Osborne said it’s significant to note that the investigation was not done by Midland police but by the SIU, which is an arms-length organization that serves the public.

“The SIU have charged police in the past when there has been assaults without proper justification,” he said. “If police had laid hands on him without reasonable cause, they would have been charged.

“Had this man acted similar to the other man, we wouldn’t be in this predicament,” Osborne added.

The other young man involved in the incident was released without charges.

“He was not just standing in the home. He responded to the police in a way that made them think he was committing a criminal offence,” Osborne said.

Bujold was charged with assaulting a police office, trying to disarm a police officer, obstruction of police and attempted escape, said Bujold Sr.

Bujold has a date in Barrie provincial court on Dec. 5.

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