The province’s Special Investigations Unit is investigating the discharge of an Anti Riot Weapon ENfield (ARWEN) yesterday by a North Bay police officer during a takedown on Lakeshore Drive,
Just before 3 p.m. the OPP Emergency Response Team and the North Bay Police Emergency Response Team surrounded a pickup in the parking lot of Pizza Hut on Lakeshore Drive. Inside was a 22-year-old male passenger who was wanted on multiple warrants.The situation was resolved about an hour later.
When the man refused to come out of the truck, an OPP officer discharged his ARWEN at the vehicle.
The man came out and was arrested. The driver of the pickup was also arrested.
The man did not sustain any serious injury, but the SIU’s mandate was invoked under the Special Investigations Unit Act, because a firearm was discharged at a person. A firearm is defined as a barreled weapon from which any shot, bullet or other projectile can be discharged and that is capable of causing serious bodily injury or death to a person.
The SIU is asking anyone who may have information about this event to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. The Unit is also urging anyone who may have any video evidence related to this incident to upload that video through the SIU website.
"It was definitely a chaotic situation, I've never seen anything like this before on a main street in North Bay,' said Nick Gadomski, a witness from a nearby business who has lived in North Bay for 10 years.
"A customer pointed out to us that there were OPP vehicles, like about three of them and we went outside because we heard some yelling and then we noticed Lakeshore Drive was blocked off both ways. We heard a big smash and we saw that the passenger window of a truck was smashed and the police had the dogs there as well," he continued.
"It was pretty intimidating, there must have been at least 10 enforcement vehicles and there were definitely some tense moments and everything sounded aggressive."