North Syd­ney na­tive gets brav­ery medal for break­ing up bru­tal swarm­ing

Cape Breton Post - - ATLANTIC -

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.

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