Veteran B.C. police officer dies of injuries suffered in attack while off duty

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Const. Allan Young had been placed on life support at a hospital in the B.C. Interior after he was attacked in Nelson, B.C., last week. (Submitted by Abbotsford Police Department)

A police officer from Abbotsford, B.C., who was beaten while off duty in the Kootenays died from his injuries on Tuesday evening, the Abbotsford Police Department said.

Const. Allan Young, 55, had been on life support at a hospital in the B.C. Interior after being attacked in Nelson, B.C., last week. The department confirmed his death in a statement early Wednesday.

"Const. Young passed away peacefully last night surrounded by those who love him," the statement said.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our brother officer. His smile, personality and character cannot be replaced and will forever echo in our hallways."

Young was attacked after "intervening in a disturbance" in Nelson on Thursday.

Local police said Young approached another man downtown in the 600-block of Baker Street around 11:45 p.m. PT.

"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.

A 26-year-old man was arrested after the attack. A statement from Nelson police on Wednesday said the man is now facing charges of aggravated assault, but did not release his name.

Police said Young and the attacker did not know each other.

20-year police veteran joined Navy as a teen

Abbotsford police said Young had been with the department since March 2004. He had previously worked with the Toronto Police Service since 2000, after immigrating to Canada from Scotland in 1997.

Young was born and raised in Dumbarton, Scotland, and at age 16 enlisted with the British Royal Navy, where he was a marine engineering mechanic.

"He would light up the room. He had a very, very thick [Scottish] accent. If you could decipher the joke, it was usually very funny, but even if you couldn't understand what he said, the happiness and fun that he brought into a room was contagious," Abbotsford police Sgt. Judy Bird said in an earlier interview about Young, when it was apparent he would not survive his injuries.

"We have sorrow. It is deep and we are so sad."