RNC chief apologizes for 'mistake'

Everton McLean
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Says officer and force 'deeply regret' detention of autistic teenager

RNC Chief Joe Browne apologized to Dane Spurrell and his mother, Diane, Thursday for the recent arrest and detention of the 18-year-old Mount Pearl youth after a police officer mistook his autism for intoxication.

"We deeply regret that Dane was exposed to this," Browne said during a news conference.

Browne, who was in Labrador when the issue came to light earlier this week, said the initial responding officer - a female police officer with about two years of experience - was drawn to Spurrell when a car had to swerve to avoid him on Topsail Road late Saturday.

Diane Spurrell has accepted an apology from RNC Chief Joe Browne after her autistic son, Dane, was arrested earlier this week and held in the lockup by an officer who mistook his autism for intoxication. Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

RNC Chief Joe Browne apologized to Dane Spurrell and his mother, Diane, Thursday for the recent arrest and detention of the 18-year-old Mount Pearl youth after a police officer mistook his autism for intoxication.

"We deeply regret that Dane was exposed to this," Browne said during a news conference.

Browne, who was in Labrador when the issue came to light earlier this week, said the initial responding officer - a female police officer with about two years of experience - was drawn to Spurrell when a car had to swerve to avoid him on Topsail Road late Saturday.

He said she tried to speak with him, but Spurrell was unable to communicate clearly.

That's when she made the judgment call that Browne said was the turning point in the encounter - she decided Spurrell was high on drugs, rather than exhibiting signs of autism.

"Once that initial mistake, mistaken belief, was entered into, everything that flowed from that, of course, was a continuation of the mistake," Browne said.

Another officer then arrested Spurrell, who was taken to the St. John's Lockup to be held until his supposed intoxication passed.

During that time, until his mother called 911 looking for him at 5 a.m., Spurrell wasn't allowed to call home. While the strict interpretation of the law is that, once detained, a person is only allowed to call legal counsel, Browne said in this case the officer could have used discretion and allowed the call, perhaps resolving the matter quickly.

"I think (after) my discussion with the officers, now they realize that was not an unreasonable request. It would have been no issue to provide access to a telephone or at least place a call on Dane's behalf," Browne said.

"I sincerely wish that had to occur. In fact, if it had to occur early in this event it would have been resolved immediately."

Browne said the police force is investigating what happened and is also asking the public to help identify two women who police believe were nearby when Spurrell was arrested.

The women were in a small green car. Police believe the two women may have witnessed the incident and are asking them to contact the police to help with the investigation.

Meanwhile, he said, the officers involved "are deeply regretful and they want to express that to Dane."

Browne also confirmed that, starting in May, officers will get training in responding to people with autism, a program that was in the making about a week before the incident occurred.

For Diane Spurrell, the apology and Browne's plan of action are welcomed.

After an hour speaking privately with Browne and accepting his apology, she said she's satisfied the police force is properly handling an investigation into the alleged mistreatment.

Spurrell, who had lodged a criminal complaint against the two officers, instead decided to reduce her request to a public complaint, the outcome of which could result in less punitive measures.

"They are going to proceed in what I feel is a satisfactory manner," Spurrell said. "I felt that they were sincere."

Justice Minister Tom Marshall said he was "very troubled" by the arrest and detention.

"I'm very concerned how something like this would happen," he said.

However, he said it's important not to rush to judgment before all the facts are gathered and the police conduct their review.

And, he said, a review will also be made into how corrections officials at the lockup handled the case and why a man with autism was held for more than six hours.

He said corrections officials will meet with the Spurrells to discuss the incident, including why Dane Spurrell was not allowed to call home.

"I think discretion could have been exercised in allowing the kid to call his mother," Marshall said.

The minister did say he was pleased that more training on autism will start early next month.

"It's just unfortunate what happened here," he said. "But I'm hopeful we'll learn some very valuable lessons here."

Meanwhile, Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador issued a statement Thursday supporting the RNC.

It said the incident with Spurrell was unfortunate, but "it is an isolated incident that is being dealt with."

Through the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the RNC has raised more than $1 million for the Special Olympics athletes over the years and has created bonds with the athletes, the statement said.

emclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Labrador, Topsail Road St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Concerned
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    In order to establish public intoxication, I would imagine the scent of alcohol being important criteria. Maybe RNC training needs to be re-evaluated. To quick to judgment in this case.

  • George
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    The police say that a car had to swerve to avoid hitting Dane. Well Dane was walking in a place where there were no sidewalks, etc. Drivers should be more cautious. The fact that the Police officers in question say that a car had to swerve to avoid hitting him, means nothing, they will say anything to make it look like it was Danes' fault for their mistakes.
    I don't trust this statement from the police officers one iota.
    Just some maucho police officer trying to be one of the boys.

  • Labradorian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Stop Bashing the police, what is wrong with you all? Is everone and eveything perfect? NO, so when you need help for whatever reason who do you call. The Police, not robots, but human beings like yourselves.

  • NLDER
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Not Good Enough - What makes you think this was a vicious cowardly attack on the kid? I think you are severly jumping to conclusions. It's an unfortunate incident but a simple lack of judgement and discretion made it much more dramatic then it needed to be. Suggesting she has psychological problems and needs to be assessed by the mental health department is a little over-the-top don't you think????

  • Aspie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Just one question.....if they suspected intoxication....why was he not given the breathalyzer????

  • Calvin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I admit to being less than versed on people with autism. However, (and I may be setting myself up here for ridicule) I think from looking at pictures of this young man that it is kind of obvious that he has some form of disability. Also, I know from an experience with a family member that someone thrown in the drunk tank is allowed to call a parent, not just legal council. Give me a break, 9 out of 10 people do not have a lawyer that they can say is their lawyer , so how was this kid refused a telephone call? Questions need answering here that are not bein adressed.

  • Labradorian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    StarrMetro~

    I'm not talking about autism......I'm talking about all human beings who are not perfect. Take your blinders off and just accept people, police, doctors etc,etc, make mistakes. I guess they are alot of self righteous people on this topic!

  • Labradorian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    That is sufficent. Leave it alone now.

  • NJM
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I think enough has been done on this matter. If Mrs. Spurrell is woman enough to let this go then so should we. What kind of effect will all of this media coverage have on Dane, hasn't he suffered enough from this ordeal? As for the two officers, you know they are look at differently by their peers, for now, because this is a big hit for the RNC. They have a hard enough time on the best of days to get the public's respect. This doesn't help matters. The media should leave this one alone and let the Spurrells get on with their lives.

  • Donna
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    If I were the parent, I would be glad that the police took this child off the street. If he was walking in an area, where a vehicle had to swerve to avoid hitting him, then the police did that child a favour. And it does not make any difference that he has Autism, he should have told the police that. If my daughter, who has diabetes, was ever confronted by the police, and questioned about her behaviour, she would know to explain to the police that her diabetes may be a little off control, and that may be the reason why she would appear to be intoxicated or impaired or stoned. Why the big deal, about this incident. No apology necessary in my opinion. The mother should be glad that her son is safe, and not lying in a ditch somewhere, like what has happened to so many other children and young adults. Bravo to the police, because in their opinion, that person could have been a danger to himself or to others, if he had to walk out a little further into traffic.. He should have just told the police he has a medical condition. And if that boy has a cell phone, then glue or fasten a medical alert symbol to that.

  • Starr
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Labradorian from NL
    you say leave it alone now! Sure, sweep it under the rug and not deal with it so it will happen again.
    This needs to be made an issue of so that there will be no other such victims!
    Much education is needed. You clearly do not understand autism.

  • Labradorian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    What a bunch of narrowmined negative people, have you all been a victim . Or criminals.

  • ³
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Labradorian from NL maybe getting ruffed up by police, spending a night in jail and retaining a lawyer at your expense for something you never did will change your mind.

    Go give it a try.

    And oh... keep your lawyer's telephone number in your pocket at all times. Never leave home without it.

  • stop cop
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    i dont think we should blame the cops for this!maybe if dane was wearing a medic alert bracelet or necklace none of this would have happened.if he was in danger of being hit by a car then they did the right thing!not everybody in the whole town knows his situation!also i dont understand why the mother didn't call the police until 5am?

  • Sandra
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Frank Blackwood - nonsense. Absolute trash.

    Labradorian - include yourself as one of the self-righteous. Some mistakes can only be made once... DZIEKANSKI.

    The level of public anger in this case, amongst the multitude of other incidents worldwide, has only increased the level of distrust between police and the general public, and contributes to this growing chasm.

  • Care worker
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I work with a teenager diagnosed with autism, she has little to no communication skills and needs assistance with nearly all aspects of her daily life, but if you go merely on appearances she looks as normal as any of us. I think it would be very easy for someone inexperienced with autism to mistake her for a regular teenager. I would place no blame on the police for haven taken this boy in, better that he be with them than on the road and struck down. My only point is that we shouldn't be angry at this inexperienced officer, mistakes can be made easily. Educate them yes, but not be angry for them trying to take care of the boy.

  • Pepe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I don't buy the story of a vehicle having to swerve to avoid hitting him. The police have to say something. I bet I can come up with something to make each and every one of you seem as if you were the guilty party. I don't buy it at all.

    Besides, there's no sidewalk there. So it's easy to come with that excuse. If I were the police that night I would have pulled over said vehicle and charged them with imprudent driving for almost hitting a pedestrian. Pedestrians have the Right of Way. Explain that.

    Is this a case of profiling ?

  • Francis
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    We need to work with the Police to protect ourselves against criminals If you see or know anyone commiting a crime, inform the Police. Communication needs to be better. The Police could take this man on a tour of the Police station and meet the people that work hard to protect us. People are quick to jump on the Police for a mistake but are willing to support a crook like ed burn.

  • Disgusted
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    While the strict interpretation of the law is that, once detained, a person is only allowed to call legal counsel

    I'm pretty sure that's incorrect. What regular Joe has a lawyer they can call? I think this just masks the fact that someone's civil liberties were violated. First of all, you are legally entitled to travel from point A to point B, unrestricted. If you are believed to pose a threat, the police had better be sure they had a solid reason to take you in and then PROVE it.

    If the RNC had acted properly, they would not need to apologize. They are admitting fault - these pillars of the community who are employed to protect. I don't think this issue should die because of a behind-closed-doors apology.

    This could happen to ANYONE. This is NOT okay. Is Dane less a victim today all of a sudden?

    The complaint has been downgraded to lessen the punishment if anyone is found at fault. Well that's a relief. I wouldn't want the offenders to suffer too much.

  • DeeBee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I say these two cops and the guys at the lockup should be tasered a few times each, then we can call it square.

  • Not Good
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Could this not be a deeper rooted problem where the female officer may have psychological problems when it comes to dealing with members of the opposite sex? If this were a male officer, and a female was the victim of police abuse you can bet your bottom dollar that womens groups would be calling for a full enquiry into the officers record and interaction since day one.

    Power trips by those placed in a position of trust can not be resolved with a simple We are sorry. This officer needs help. Have her placed on administrative leave till she has been properly assessed by the mental health department and is found safe to return to regular duties. Failing to do so should be considered failing in the due diligence to protect society from further abuse of vicious cowardly attacks on the most vulnerable members of society.

  • Julian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    stop cop bashing from mount pearl, nl please educate yourself on the proper use of medic alert bracelets. And do you really think the police would have seen or even paid any attention to it if one even DID exist for Autism ?

    YOU control YOUR own actions. But don't tell others what to do. That behaviour leads to YOU being handcuffed further on down the road. Good luck with that.

  • Doug
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    So they are claiming that one of the officers is inexperience. If a person is that inexperienced (or incompetent) after two years on the job should she really have been turned loose on the general population in the first place.

    What is the excuse for the other one who is supposedly a 15 year veteran? Surely, they can't be claiming inexperience for him. I suspect it was a case of Mr. Macho showing off and trying to impress the rookie.

  • Not Surprised
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    It really upsets me to see this happening in the St. John's area. The RNC are supposed to be there to support and protect our community, but unfortunately I've heard too many similar stories to this to think that they're doing their job appropiately.

    Obviously there are police officers who are appreciate their community and their professionalism, but I've seen and heard of so many young RNC officers with big heads being WAY to rough with arrestees. I totally understand that sometimes it's necessary, but come on people, let's get real. Perhaps these officers need to be reminded of what's necessary agressiveness, and what's not necessary.

    Too many young people are finding themselves feeling attact by the RNC rather than being helped. I think it's time that the RNC remind all those officers that have a chip on their shoulders that they took this job for a reason, they knew the type of atmosphere they'd be working in, and therefore have no excuse.

    I'm so sorry for this families experience, but unfortunately they're not the first to have a similar circumstance. Let's hope we no longer have to see this happening..

    However.. I'm not surprised.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I think the RNC used excellent judgement in this situation. We have to understand the role of the police in protecting each other. here, using common sense prevailed, and the police used it wisely.

    Frank Blackwood

  • Rayne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    While I understand the frustration and disappointment of the young mans mother and society in general, I also understand the situation the officers were in. Sometimes it is hard to tell if it is intoxication or other issues involved especially if people are not properly trained to see the difference. In this case the officer used the train of thought if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's probably a duck the officers never assumed it could be a zebra! In most cases they are probably right in making the assumption but in this case they were not. Dane's Mom has accepted the apology so why keep harping on it.

    Lesson's have been learned lets move on!

  • Yeti
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Labradorian from NL you seem to be in the minority. Think about it. We have.

  • Not Good
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    NLDER from St.John's, NL writes: Not Good Enough - What makes you think this was a vicious cowardly attack on the kid?

    Do you not think that they might have been better protecting people by going after the car that just about hit him? The driver of the car might have been drunk, and that was the reason for the quick action due to failing to observe the road.

    The officer took the easy way and used excessive force to go after someone weaker. Not the best use of tax dollars when they might have just let a drunk get away that could have killed someone.

  • Concerned
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    In order to establish public intoxication, I would imagine the scent of alcohol being important criteria. Maybe RNC training needs to be re-evaluated. To quick to judgment in this case.

  • George
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    The police say that a car had to swerve to avoid hitting Dane. Well Dane was walking in a place where there were no sidewalks, etc. Drivers should be more cautious. The fact that the Police officers in question say that a car had to swerve to avoid hitting him, means nothing, they will say anything to make it look like it was Danes' fault for their mistakes.
    I don't trust this statement from the police officers one iota.
    Just some maucho police officer trying to be one of the boys.

  • Labradorian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Stop Bashing the police, what is wrong with you all? Is everone and eveything perfect? NO, so when you need help for whatever reason who do you call. The Police, not robots, but human beings like yourselves.

  • NLDER
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Not Good Enough - What makes you think this was a vicious cowardly attack on the kid? I think you are severly jumping to conclusions. It's an unfortunate incident but a simple lack of judgement and discretion made it much more dramatic then it needed to be. Suggesting she has psychological problems and needs to be assessed by the mental health department is a little over-the-top don't you think????

  • Aspie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Just one question.....if they suspected intoxication....why was he not given the breathalyzer????

  • Calvin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    I admit to being less than versed on people with autism. However, (and I may be setting myself up here for ridicule) I think from looking at pictures of this young man that it is kind of obvious that he has some form of disability. Also, I know from an experience with a family member that someone thrown in the drunk tank is allowed to call a parent, not just legal council. Give me a break, 9 out of 10 people do not have a lawyer that they can say is their lawyer , so how was this kid refused a telephone call? Questions need answering here that are not bein adressed.

  • Labradorian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    StarrMetro~

    I'm not talking about autism......I'm talking about all human beings who are not perfect. Take your blinders off and just accept people, police, doctors etc,etc, make mistakes. I guess they are alot of self righteous people on this topic!

  • Labradorian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    That is sufficent. Leave it alone now.

  • NJM
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I think enough has been done on this matter. If Mrs. Spurrell is woman enough to let this go then so should we. What kind of effect will all of this media coverage have on Dane, hasn't he suffered enough from this ordeal? As for the two officers, you know they are look at differently by their peers, for now, because this is a big hit for the RNC. They have a hard enough time on the best of days to get the public's respect. This doesn't help matters. The media should leave this one alone and let the Spurrells get on with their lives.

  • Donna
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    If I were the parent, I would be glad that the police took this child off the street. If he was walking in an area, where a vehicle had to swerve to avoid hitting him, then the police did that child a favour. And it does not make any difference that he has Autism, he should have told the police that. If my daughter, who has diabetes, was ever confronted by the police, and questioned about her behaviour, she would know to explain to the police that her diabetes may be a little off control, and that may be the reason why she would appear to be intoxicated or impaired or stoned. Why the big deal, about this incident. No apology necessary in my opinion. The mother should be glad that her son is safe, and not lying in a ditch somewhere, like what has happened to so many other children and young adults. Bravo to the police, because in their opinion, that person could have been a danger to himself or to others, if he had to walk out a little further into traffic.. He should have just told the police he has a medical condition. And if that boy has a cell phone, then glue or fasten a medical alert symbol to that.

  • Starr
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Labradorian from NL
    you say leave it alone now! Sure, sweep it under the rug and not deal with it so it will happen again.
    This needs to be made an issue of so that there will be no other such victims!
    Much education is needed. You clearly do not understand autism.

  • Labradorian
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    What a bunch of narrowmined negative people, have you all been a victim . Or criminals.

  • ³
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Labradorian from NL maybe getting ruffed up by police, spending a night in jail and retaining a lawyer at your expense for something you never did will change your mind.

    Go give it a try.

    And oh... keep your lawyer's telephone number in your pocket at all times. Never leave home without it.

  • stop cop
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    i dont think we should blame the cops for this!maybe if dane was wearing a medic alert bracelet or necklace none of this would have happened.if he was in danger of being hit by a car then they did the right thing!not everybody in the whole town knows his situation!also i dont understand why the mother didn't call the police until 5am?

  • Sandra
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Frank Blackwood - nonsense. Absolute trash.

    Labradorian - include yourself as one of the self-righteous. Some mistakes can only be made once... DZIEKANSKI.

    The level of public anger in this case, amongst the multitude of other incidents worldwide, has only increased the level of distrust between police and the general public, and contributes to this growing chasm.

  • Care worker
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I work with a teenager diagnosed with autism, she has little to no communication skills and needs assistance with nearly all aspects of her daily life, but if you go merely on appearances she looks as normal as any of us. I think it would be very easy for someone inexperienced with autism to mistake her for a regular teenager. I would place no blame on the police for haven taken this boy in, better that he be with them than on the road and struck down. My only point is that we shouldn't be angry at this inexperienced officer, mistakes can be made easily. Educate them yes, but not be angry for them trying to take care of the boy.

  • Pepe
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    I don't buy the story of a vehicle having to swerve to avoid hitting him. The police have to say something. I bet I can come up with something to make each and every one of you seem as if you were the guilty party. I don't buy it at all.

    Besides, there's no sidewalk there. So it's easy to come with that excuse. If I were the police that night I would have pulled over said vehicle and charged them with imprudent driving for almost hitting a pedestrian. Pedestrians have the Right of Way. Explain that.

    Is this a case of profiling ?

  • Francis
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    We need to work with the Police to protect ourselves against criminals If you see or know anyone commiting a crime, inform the Police. Communication needs to be better. The Police could take this man on a tour of the Police station and meet the people that work hard to protect us. People are quick to jump on the Police for a mistake but are willing to support a crook like ed burn.

  • Disgusted
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    While the strict interpretation of the law is that, once detained, a person is only allowed to call legal counsel

    I'm pretty sure that's incorrect. What regular Joe has a lawyer they can call? I think this just masks the fact that someone's civil liberties were violated. First of all, you are legally entitled to travel from point A to point B, unrestricted. If you are believed to pose a threat, the police had better be sure they had a solid reason to take you in and then PROVE it.

    If the RNC had acted properly, they would not need to apologize. They are admitting fault - these pillars of the community who are employed to protect. I don't think this issue should die because of a behind-closed-doors apology.

    This could happen to ANYONE. This is NOT okay. Is Dane less a victim today all of a sudden?

    The complaint has been downgraded to lessen the punishment if anyone is found at fault. Well that's a relief. I wouldn't want the offenders to suffer too much.

  • DeeBee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    I say these two cops and the guys at the lockup should be tasered a few times each, then we can call it square.

  • Not Good
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Could this not be a deeper rooted problem where the female officer may have psychological problems when it comes to dealing with members of the opposite sex? If this were a male officer, and a female was the victim of police abuse you can bet your bottom dollar that womens groups would be calling for a full enquiry into the officers record and interaction since day one.

    Power trips by those placed in a position of trust can not be resolved with a simple We are sorry. This officer needs help. Have her placed on administrative leave till she has been properly assessed by the mental health department and is found safe to return to regular duties. Failing to do so should be considered failing in the due diligence to protect society from further abuse of vicious cowardly attacks on the most vulnerable members of society.

  • Julian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    stop cop bashing from mount pearl, nl please educate yourself on the proper use of medic alert bracelets. And do you really think the police would have seen or even paid any attention to it if one even DID exist for Autism ?

    YOU control YOUR own actions. But don't tell others what to do. That behaviour leads to YOU being handcuffed further on down the road. Good luck with that.

  • Doug
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    So they are claiming that one of the officers is inexperience. If a person is that inexperienced (or incompetent) after two years on the job should she really have been turned loose on the general population in the first place.

    What is the excuse for the other one who is supposedly a 15 year veteran? Surely, they can't be claiming inexperience for him. I suspect it was a case of Mr. Macho showing off and trying to impress the rookie.

  • Not Surprised
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    It really upsets me to see this happening in the St. John's area. The RNC are supposed to be there to support and protect our community, but unfortunately I've heard too many similar stories to this to think that they're doing their job appropiately.

    Obviously there are police officers who are appreciate their community and their professionalism, but I've seen and heard of so many young RNC officers with big heads being WAY to rough with arrestees. I totally understand that sometimes it's necessary, but come on people, let's get real. Perhaps these officers need to be reminded of what's necessary agressiveness, and what's not necessary.

    Too many young people are finding themselves feeling attact by the RNC rather than being helped. I think it's time that the RNC remind all those officers that have a chip on their shoulders that they took this job for a reason, they knew the type of atmosphere they'd be working in, and therefore have no excuse.

    I'm so sorry for this families experience, but unfortunately they're not the first to have a similar circumstance. Let's hope we no longer have to see this happening..

    However.. I'm not surprised.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    I think the RNC used excellent judgement in this situation. We have to understand the role of the police in protecting each other. here, using common sense prevailed, and the police used it wisely.

    Frank Blackwood

  • Rayne
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    While I understand the frustration and disappointment of the young mans mother and society in general, I also understand the situation the officers were in. Sometimes it is hard to tell if it is intoxication or other issues involved especially if people are not properly trained to see the difference. In this case the officer used the train of thought if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it's probably a duck the officers never assumed it could be a zebra! In most cases they are probably right in making the assumption but in this case they were not. Dane's Mom has accepted the apology so why keep harping on it.

    Lesson's have been learned lets move on!

  • Yeti
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Labradorian from NL you seem to be in the minority. Think about it. We have.

  • Not Good
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    NLDER from St.John's, NL writes: Not Good Enough - What makes you think this was a vicious cowardly attack on the kid?

    Do you not think that they might have been better protecting people by going after the car that just about hit him? The driver of the car might have been drunk, and that was the reason for the quick action due to failing to observe the road.

    The officer took the easy way and used excessive force to go after someone weaker. Not the best use of tax dollars when they might have just let a drunk get away that could have killed someone.