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Thursday, September 18, 2008

SIU probes Peel in taser death

September 18, 2008
Bob Mitchell, Toronto Star

In less than a week, Peel police have twice used Tasers to subdue people – once with fatal results, and the other time on one of their fellow officers.

Yesterday, 42-year-old Sean Reilly of Brampton died several hours after being Tasered during a struggle in a cell at a Peel police station. He had earlier been charged with assault with a weapon.

On Friday, Peel officers Tasered Const. Jason Ross, 35, who was being investigated for impaired driving. He is facing three counts of assaulting police, one count of assault causing bodily harm, excess blood alcohol, impaired operation of a motor vehicle and mischief.

In yesterday's incident, Reilly went into medical distress and was rushed to Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga, where he died at 4:45 a.m.

The province's Special Investigations Unit is probing the in-custody death and has named four officers as subjects of their investigation.

SIU spokesperson John Yoannou said Reilly was arrested about 5 p.m. on Tuesday and charged with assault with a weapon.

A police source told the Star that a 911 call was initially made by a motorist who was following a suspected impaired driver.

Police arrived at a residence on Runningbrook Dr. just before 4 p.m. where it's alleged an assault occurred on another man, according to the source. Reilly was outside his vehicle when police arrived, the source said.

Yoannou confirmed Reilly was arrested at the Mississauga residence but wasn't able to provide any other details about the ongoing investigation.

What happened next remains the focus of the SIU probe.

A police source said Reilly struggled with several officers after getting out of a police cruiser at the 12 Division station at Eglinton Ave. and Dixie Rd. in Mississauga.

After being booked, Reilly was taken to the cells where a struggle occurred involving several officers, Yoannou said.

"During a struggle in the cell area, a Taser was used to subdue him," Yoannou said. "Mr. Reilly went into medical distress and was taken to hospital where he died."

An autopsy is scheduled for later today.

With the SIU having taken over the case, Peel police now are prohibited from releasing any details.

Reilly, who was single, worked as a carpenter, a friend said, adding his sister recently died of sleep apnea.

The SIU will now determine whether any criminal charges are warranted.

Prior to Friday's Taser incident, Const. Ross who lives in Georgetown and who has been with the Peel force for eight years, was already under suspension without pay in connection with an unrelated assault charge.


Anonymous said...

What His sister died too?? Is this for real?/ Anyone witness the so called assault? or assault with wepon? Something does not make sense here.... Investigate this reporters people and friends Get involved and stand up to the tasers! or so called stun guns!

J Jarvis said...

I've know Sean for 20 yrs and he has lived with me for 3 of them, I have never seen this man raise his voice let alone his hand.
Yes he was mourning the loss of his sister who he was very close to, but he was coping. What has happened here is a tragedy and should never had happened. These police officers need to be held accountable!! We lost a very good, decent human being, and a family has lost a Son, Brother, Nephew and Uncle.
Sean Reilly will be missed by all!!

Reality Chick said...

j jarvis, please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your friend Sean. Although we did not know Sean, we feel profoundly connected to him, and his family and friends. If there is ever anything we can do to help, please let us know by posting "anonymously" in the guestbook.

Anonymous said...

Ok so look at what has happened SIU Dropped the case! No actual posting any longer they even have the case! what happened with the autopsy? And any one ever investigate dr. mark w. knoll? notice he is a cardiac specialist too? what a cover up 55 yrs old and no guilt. His father is turning in his grave.
Sean's pasing should be amplified and some one must hold peel police responsible for their conduct is far from appropriate take a look at their history.