Ontario police watchdog says no charges in death of woman who fell from Toronto balcony

The province’s police watchdog says no charges will be laid against responding officers in the case of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, the 29-year-old woman who fell to her death from a High Park Avenue balcony earlier this year.

Officers responded to 100 High Park Avenue on May 27 after the young woman’s family called police.

Her mother told reporters that Korchinski-Paquet was suffering a mental episode and that she wanted officers to take her to CAMH.

While being escorted out of the building, Korchinski-Paquet said she had to use the bathroom and returned to her apartment. Her family has said that she was followed in by several officers and that moments later, she fell to her death from the balcony.  

The Special Investigations Unit has been probing the circumstances surrounding Korchinski-Paquet’s death since then and finally released its results on Wednesday.

“Based on his review of the evidence, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Joseph Martino, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any of the officers committed a criminal offence in connection with Ms. Korchinski-Paquet’s death,” the SIU said in a statement Wednesday.

The investigation included interviews with one subject officer and six witness officers. The agency also interviewed 15 civilian witnesses, including Korchinski-Paquet’s mother and brother, who were in the vicinity at the time. A written statement was also obtained from Korchinski-Paquet’s father, who she was speaking with on the phone moments before the fall.  

“The investigation further benefitted from a review of scene photos, 911 call recordings, audio recordings from In-Car Camera Systems of police cruisers, security camera video recordings from the apartment building in which the incident occurred, records from the TPS and two post-mortem reports,” the SIU added in its statement.

The agency said last month that it had concluded most of its work, but that it was waiting for the family to complete their own separate investigation before releasing any results.

The family’s investigation has included an out-of-province autopsy, as well as advice from former SIU director Howard Morton.

The family has not yet issued a response to the SIU’s findings.

More to come…