An off-duty police officer was violently assaulted on Black Friday by a group of teenagers after assisting a woman whose phone had been stolen.
An Emeryville, California shopping center was packed with holiday shoppers around 8 pm. Surveillance footage shows a woman in white clothing approach a group of teens who had allegedly stolen her cell phone. She apparently tried to reason with them and ask for her phone back.
The group became violent with her following this confrontation, drawing the attention of an off-duty Highway Patrolman. The officer, only identified as Greg B, began taking photos to document the situation before stepping in. When one of the teenagers noticed what he was doing, the group proceeded to attack him. The video shows the teens running at him and throwing punches.
Officer Greg B told reporters “It was a melee. It was chaotic. It was a really scary situation.” As a former prison correctional officer, he says that such a thing should never have happened.
The incident escalated further after he tried to run away. The mob completely surrounded him and began punching, kicking, and choking him near the point of unconsciousness.
Greg B recalls ” I knew that when I let him go, he’s going to swing at me. And I let him go. I push him and sure enough, he turns around and swings at me,” he told KTVU. “I back up and that’s when one of his friends came up behind me and struck me in the back of the head.”
“There was a lot of restraint that had to be practiced and I had to do my best to stay in the moment,” he said.
His actions indicate an enormous level of self-control as he never drew his gun during the attack. He told reporters that “it just came down to me not being able to look away and let this happen.” He reiterated that he could not leave the woman to handle the group herself.
The good samaritan suffered a concussion, several bruises, and a broken finger. He says the event left him “physically and mentally exhausted.”
The teens were attacking him from all angles, even striking him on the back of the head. The officer’s girlfriend, who was present at the time alerted the mall security office. The video depicts a mall security guard arriving on the scene and being thrown to the ground after trying to respond to the incident.
The Emeryville Police Department arrested two teens, ages 14 and 16, but the others involved were not apprehended. While the mall security footage is useful evidence, they are now asking the public to submit any photos or videos that could be used in a criminal case.
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