Emergency workers rappelled into the Niagara Gorge on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 after a Niagara Regional Police officer and an unidentified man fell into the gorge. Area residents reported seeing a police foot chase just before the men went over the wall.
Credits: COREY LAROCQUE/QMI AGENCY
The province's Special Investigations Unit is handling the case. It investigates cases of death and serious injury involving police.
During the chase late Tuesday afternoon, the officer and Dube fell over a waist-high concrete wall that separates the sidewalk from the steep rocky cliffs of the gorge.
The officer suffered a broken femur.
JoAnne Turner, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Niagara, confirmed Dube died and said he was a resident of that agency's Nightlight Youth Residence.
"He was well-known to the staff and well-liked," Turner said. "He had been there on and off since 2011."
She said he was a short-term resident at the group home, staying for less than 30 days at a time.
"The whole time he was there, there were no issues of violence whatsoever," Turner said, disputing reports Dube had been in an altercation at the group home earlier in the day Tuesday. "He did have some issues with curfew on occasion, but he had goals and was aiming toward those goals.
She said Dube was on probation and wasn't enrolled in school, but was looking for work as he tried to get his life in order.
"The staff had just worked with him last week to put out resumes," she said.
Alexandra Essert, who said she was a former girlfriend of Dube's, described him as a "good kid."
"I've known him a really long time. I grew up with him in group homes," she said. "He would bend over backwards for people. He wasn't a bad kid at all, he just went through some stuff.
"He was a good kid who made some bad decisions, but that doesn't make him a bad person."
Turner said Dube and a female friend left the Nightlight home at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday and were stopped by police.
"When Ryan fled, the friend came back to the shelter," she said. "When everything was happening down on River Rd., the staff was very fearful that Ryan was involved."
"We didn't have confirmation until later last night... the staff and the youth there are very distraught right now," she said.
A post-mortem is scheduled for Wednesday.