Const. Allan Young is being remembered for his smile and sense of humour, after the Abbotsford police officer died in hospital Tuesday night following an assault in Nelson.
Young had been on life support in hospital since the incident, which took place last Thursday (July 16) while he was off duty. Nelson police say Young was struck with an object after approaching a 26-year-old man who “was causing a disturbance in the roadway.” Police haven’t identified the type of weapon used.
“It appears that one male was causing a disturbance in the roadway when the victim approached him and a physical altercation ensued,” the Nelson Police Department said in a news release. “The two parties did not know each other.”
The man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, the Nelson Police Department said. He could face more charges now that Young has died.
It had been known for several days that Young wasn’t expected to survive.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our brother officer,” an APD news release said Monday. “His smile, personality and character cannot be replaced and will forever echo in our hallways.”
Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr echoed those thoughts Wednesday while speaking to the media.
“He brought an amazing sense of humour and a smile wherever he went,” Serr said. “He was very proud of serving and being a police officer.”
Young joined the department in 2004, after having previously served in the Toronto Police Service. He immigrated to Abbotsford in 1997 from Scotland, where he had previously served in the British Royal Navy as a marine engineering mechanic. In Abbotsford, Young spent time in patrol and the force’s drug enforcement unit.
Serr got acquainted with his sense of humour first-hand two years ago, while travelling with Young across the country to attend the funeral of two Fredericton, N.B., police officers killed in the line of duty. Serr, Young and two other officers encountered significant travel problems that derailed their trip.
“In that real difficult situation … Allan was absolutely an incredible person to be around,” Serr remembered.
He said he has been hearing many stories about Young’s sense of humour in recent days.
Young’s death comes with the memory of Const. John Davidson’s still fresh in the minds of many. Davidson was killed in 2017 while trying to stop a gunman who had opened fire at an Abbotsford strip mall. The trial of his killer only concluded last fall.
Serr said he is thankful for the support shown in recent days by members of the community, and by other police forces. He said the department is aware of the psychological toll on officers, and that members are encouraged to get mental health help and to assist each other in the days ahead.