By Chad Ingram
Nearly 11 months after a Haliburton County man died following an altercation with police, an Ontario Special Investigations Unit investigation into the incident continues.
On the morning of July 15, 2020, a man went to enter the Minden Valu-Mart and when it was requested he wear a face mask to enter, assaulted an employee before using his vehicle to ram vehicles in the store’s parking lot, and speeding away. Police used the licence plate on his vehicle to track him to his residence near Drag Lake. At the residence, there was an interaction between members of the OPP and the man, which resulted in two officers discharging their firearms. The man was subsequently taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead, and his identity was later revealed as Leslie John Hegedus, 73.
The Ontario Special Investigations Unit is a civilian oversight body that investigates cases of serious injury, death or allegations of assault involving police officers. As part of the SIU investigation, the two subject officers, as well as four witness officers and civilian witnesses were interviewed.
The SIU has received reports from the Centre of Forensic Sciences, as well as the results of a post-mortem examination. According to communications coordinator Monica Hudon, the file is now with the organization’s director for review. Hudon told the Times it’s difficult to know when the results of the investigation will be made public.