Winnipeg police officer won't be charged after intervening in fight, fracturing man's jaw

Winnipeg police nab man carrying sawed-off shotgun in bag after dispute

An off-duty Winnipeg police officer will not face charges after he intervened in a fight between two men and ended up punching one of them, fracturing the man's jaw. 

The Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba concluded that the male officer involved in the Nov. 18, 2016, incident "was intent on diffusing a potentially violent situation."

The officer was driving his personal vehicle near St. Mary's Road and Marion Street shortly after 5 p.m. that day when he saw two men fighting and chasing each other in rush-hour traffic.

He got out of his vehicle, identified himself as a police officer and told the men to stop fighting.

"While the officer was speaking with one of the men, the other quickly and aggressively advanced on him," the IIU stated in a news release Monday.

"The officer stepped out of the way and threw one punch toward the man, striking him on the chin and knocking him unconscious."

The injured man was treated in hospital, then detained at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.

In his report, IIU civilian director Zane Tessler said surveillance video from transit buses showed part of the fight between the two men, as well as the interaction between the officer and the injured man.

The injured man refused to provide a statement or co-operate with IIU investigators, which made the probe "more difficult," Tessler noted.

Tessler wrote in his report that he was satisfied the officer "was lawfully placed as a peace officer at the time he pulled his vehicle over and exited" and "was intent on diffusing a potentially violent situation and was not intending on escalating it."

The IIU reviews all serious on- and off-duty incidents involving police officers in the province.