Ottawa Police officer cleared by SIU in incident related to Westboro man’s death

 A photo of Kirkwood and Richmond Road taken in the winter. The Real Canadian Superstore is seen to the left.
Franco Micucci, 46, died after being hit by a car at Richmond and Kirkwood in April 2023. Photo by Charlie Senack.

By Charlie Senack 

An Ottawa Police officer who chased a vehicle that was later involved in a Westboro hit and run has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).

While details of what took place were first kept under wraps because of the investigation, they have since been released with the concluded report’s findings. 

The incident began in the evening on April 15, 2023. An unidentified officer with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) surveillance team was told to follow a gray Honda Civic that was involved with an alleged drug deal.

Inside that vehicle was Tevon Bacquain. Police tried to box his car in at Carling near Merivale, but Bacquain got away. 

According to the SIU report, Bacquain raced up Kirkwood, driving on the wrong side of the road while bursting through red lights. It’s believed the investigated officer began to follow with his lights and sirens off, but then called off the chase. A different officer was heard over the radio saying, “It ain’t worth it, man. He’s gonna hit somebody.”

That’s exactly what happened. 

Franco Micucci was crossing the intersection of Richmond Road and Kirkwood while out on an evening stroll with his wife, Shirline. Out of nowhere, he was struck. The 46-year-old became airborne, landing on the hood of the Honda Civic. 

Micucci never regained consciousness and died in hospital six days later from a major head injury.  

Colourful flowers are hung on a post. Westboro’s Superstore is seen in the distance.
Bouquets of flowers hang on a post at Richmond and Kirkwood in Spring 2023. File photo by Charlie Senack.

Police arrived at the scene in less than a minute, and Bacquain was arrested soon after. In December he pleaded guilty to flight from police and failing to remain at the scene of an incident that caused death. A charge of dangerous driving causing death was dropped. 

The SIU said the officer in question was within their right to attempt to stop the vehicle, and that they “comported themselves with due care and regard for public safety throughout their engagement with the Civic.”

SIU director Joseph Martino wrote that the officer traveled at an adequate speed through the neighborhood and rightly called an end to the pursuit. 

“It is apparent that neither [officers] transgressed the limits of care in the course of a brief pursuit that was discontinued prior to the collision that tragically took the life of the Complainant,” wrote Martino. “As such, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.”

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