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Boy Protected with Pepper Spray
July 23, 2007 permalink
Here is more on the story of the still-anonymous mother who resisted child protectors with force. In a repeat of the Emily Lake seizure the cops "protected" a boy by hitting him with pepper spray. We wonder how safe he feels now
Police pepper-sprayed boy during standoff with mom: witness
St. John's police officers used pepper spray on a boy during a confrontation in which he and his siblings were seized from their defiant mother, her boyfriend says.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was called to the woman's home on Cookstown Road, near downtown St. John's, on Wednesday night to assist child protection workers who had arrived to take three children into custody.
The woman, however, refused to co-operate and barricaded her family inside the house in a confrontation that went on for hours.
At one point, police said, she swung a baseball bat at an officer's head, grazing but not injuring it.
"She didn't want them to go," the boyfriend, who was at the house during what he called a "crazy" confrontation, told CBC News.
His girlfriend "told the youngsters to sit down. [They were] running around, frightened to death."
CBC News is not identifying the woman or her boyfriend in order to protect the children's identities.
The boyfriend said the woman's 12-year-old son was pepper-sprayed while he used a stick to keep a police officer from climbing through a window.
At that time, he said, the mother reached for a baseball bat.
The RNC confirmed pepper spray was used in the incident, but would not say on whom.
Const. Paul Davis said while officers are commonly called to escort social workers who remove children from homes, incidents like the Cookstown Road confrontation are unusual.
"It took a little bit of time," Davis said.
"It was a barricaded situation for a short period of time. We were able to resolve that without anybody being injured."
The RNC called a negotiator in to resolve the situation.
The mother appeared in provincial court on Thursday on a charge of assaulting a police officer. She was released until her next court appearance.
The children — the 12-year-old boy, his 11-year-old sister and their two-year-old brother — are in the custody of child protection officials.