HAMILTON, Ont. -- Ontario's police watchdog has opened an investigation after a 23-year-old man in Hamilton was hospitalized with a spinal injury following an incident with police.

The Special Investigations Unit says police were in the process of checking a vehicle at an east-end parking lot (at Duke and Queen streets) around 11 p.m. Saturday when the male driver fled, only to be arrested a short time later.

The agency says the man was subsequently taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with an injury to his spine.

His name has not been released.

The SIU is an arm's-length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.