An off-duty California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer who stepped in to help a woman whose phone had been stolen was attacked and choked unconscious by a group of teenagers outside the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, California, on Black Friday, Nov. 29.
The incident started around 8:00 p.m. at the busy Bay Street Mall, located next to Oakland, according to Fox News.
In the video released by officials on Monday, a woman wearing white clothes approached a group of eight teenagers and accused them of taking her cellphone 30 minutes earlier. They began pushing and shoving her.
A CHP officer, who was off duty at that time, witnessed the assault and intervened on her behalf. He approached the group and tried to secretly take photos but a teenage girl with them noticed and he then was attacked by the group.
“It was a melee. It was chaotic. It was a really scary situation. It should have never gotten to this point,” he said.
One of the teenagers runs at him and hits him, another boy then punches him. The officer runs off until he is surrounded and attacked again. The juveniles began kicking him, punching him, and choking him to the point of rendering him unconscious, Emeryville police said.
The officer regained consciousness and used pepper spray on one of the suspects.
In the video, a security guard can be seen getting knocked down while trying to respond to the aggressive group. Police officers near an Apple store also responded to the attack. Emeryville Police Department officers arrived and detained several juveniles.
The officer, a former correctional officer at San Quentin Prison, asked to only be identified as Greg B. He said he never drew his gun during the incident.
“There was a lot of restraint that had to be practiced. And I had to do my best to stay in the moment,” Greg B. told KTVU.
“I think this just came down to me not being able to look away and let this happen,” he added. “I saw this young lady and she was going to be in a very bad situation.”
Greg B. suffered a concussion, a broken finger, and bruises. He drove himself to a hospital for treatment.
He claimed that the incident was the third time he’s had to step in and help someone at Bay Street.
Two juveniles, ages 14 and 16, were arrested. Six other suspects are still at large.
Authorities are asking the public for help in submitting videos or photos from the Friday night incident.