#HaliCop assaulted while trying to arrest teen for shoplifting
CTV News has learned a police officer who was allegedly assaulted while trying to make an arrest at a Halifax store is Const. Shawn Currie of #HaliCop fame.
Police confirm an off-duty officer was at a store on Chain Lake Drive around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when he spotted a teen who appeared to be shoplifting.
The officer approached the teen, who had just left the store, and showed his badge, identified himself as a police officer and asked him to go back inside the store.
The teen did go back inside, but when the officer determined he had grounds to arrest him for theft, police say the teen resisted and a struggle ensued.
At this point, another teen approached and allegedly punched the police officer multiple times.
Police say store staff intervened and helped the officer control the teens, who were held in custody until on-duty police officers arrived on scene.
CTV News has learned the officer is Const. Shawn Currie, who made headlines last month when a candid photo of him sitting on the sidewalk with a busker started circulating on social media.
Currie was the subject of another viral photo last year when he wrote up a fake ticket for a three-year-old boy who was "illegally stopped" on his plastic motorcycle.
Currie has become one of the best known police officers in Halifax and has earned a reputation as a compassionate constable. Now the people he spends his days working to protect are upset he hasn’t been shown the same compassion.
“He took an oath to uphold the law, so that’s what he does, right?” says Rick Smith, who panhandles on Spring Garden Road.
“It’s a total shame,” says Bruno Baurin, who snapped the photo of Currie on the sidewalk last month. “It’s someone who walks the street here every day and helps out the unfortunate.”
Currie was off-duty at the time of the incident, but his fellow officers, his union and the people with whom he interacts on Spring Garden Road say that shouldn’t be a factor.
“We’re police officers 24/7 and it’s pretty hard to switch that off, especially if you see something in process,” says Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. Dianne Woodworth.
The Halifax police union says assaults against off-duty police officers don’t happen very often, but they are concerning when they do.
“You’re disappointed when people go out and identify themselves as police officers off-duty, try and do what they believe is the best thing to do, and someone takes it upon themselves to cause them harm,” says Staff Sgt. Mark Hartlen of the Halifax Regional Police Association.
A 16-year-old boy is facing charges of causing a disturbance and resisting arrest in connection with the incident at Sport Chek. He is due to appear in court at a later date.
A 15-year-old boy is facing charges of uttering threats and aggravated assault of a police officer. He is due to appear in youth court Wednesday.
Currie was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and has since been released. He is doing OK, but is a bit shaken.
CTV News reached out to him but he declined to comment on the matter.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell