(NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario) — A teenager who plummeted to his death at Niagara Gorge was fleeing a police officer over a probation violation, according to an official at the group home where the teen lived.
Ryan Dube, 18, and a friend left the Nightlight Youth Services home late Tuesday afternoon on foot, said JoAnne Turner, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Niagara.
The teen was stopped by a police cruiser while walking down the street, she said.
“He was approached because he was on probation. It is our understanding he had some breaches and they were going to take him into the police station,” she said.
Dube briefly spoke with the officer before he “bolted left,” prompting the officer to run after him, Turner said.
The chase wove down to River Road, where a waist-high stone wall protects onlookers from the drop off to the gorge, according to the Special Investigations Unit in Ontario, which is probing the incident.
Turner said witnesses did not report a physical altercation between Dube and the unidentified police officer.
“He was attempting to elude the officer and in that effort he just jumped over the short wall, likely thinking there was going to be ground under his feet. The officer just followed behind,” she said.
Dube was pronounced dead after his fall, while the officer suffered a broken femur and was airlifted to Hamilton General Hospital.
Dube had lived at Nightlight on and off since 2011, where he was described as “well-liked, good natured and respectful.”
“He did have his issues such as making our 11 p.m. curfew, but he was moving forward and trying to seek employment and move into independent living,” Turner said.
Dube did not list his parents as his emergency contacts, she said. It was unclear if they had been notified.
An autopsy is being performed Wednesday on the teen’s body.
The Special Investigations Unit declined to go into specifics about the incident during its investigation.
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