North Sydney native gets bravery medal for breaking up brutal swarming
FREDERICTON (CP) — A New Brunswick man who helped save a Cape Breton teen from a brutal swarming says he would do it again.
Shane Douglas MacNeil, a reservist with 1 Engineer Squadron in Fredericton and a school vice-principal, was presented this week with the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation for bravery.
MacNeil, a 37-year-old lieutenant, had just arrived at his parents’ home in North Sydney in June 2007 for a weekend visit.
He and his father were outside barbecuing when they heard screaming and saw about 30 people chasing a teenager.
The mob of teens kicked and stomped the boy and tore off fence pickets to beat him.
MacNeil, his father and a neigh- bour intervened and were also beaten but police arrived and intervened.
“It was pretty scary,” said MacNeil, vice-principal of Ridgeview Middle School in Oromocto. “It was a terrifying experience but, would I do it again? Yes.”
The neighbour started calling 911 and was punched in the face.
“My dad got struck by a four-byfour from the fence,” MacNeil said. “I went over to go give him a hand and I got hit on side of the ear with a large boulder. Someone had it in their hand and they hit me in the ear, splitting open my ear.
“My dad was on the ground and he ended up getting several bones fractured in his face.”
MacNeil said it took eight stitches to repair his ear while his father is still undergoing recon- structive surgery to his jaw and is unable to eat certain types of food.
The teen victim got away with several bumps, bruises, black eyes and other facial damage but was unco-operative with authorities.
Five of the people were identified through other means. They were arrested, charged and convicted of assault and assault with a weapon.
MacNeil said from what he could determine, the teen was being swarmed because he owed the others $75 for drugs.
“If you don’t do anything; if you sit back and watch (and) if something would have happened to that individual, I would have live with that for the rest of my life.”
His father Ken MacNeil was given a coin from the Land Forces Training Development Staff in recognition of his role.