Police pin England fan after ‘mistaking hypo attack for drunkenness’

Shocking moment police ‘trip’ and pin diabetic England fan, 16, to the ground after they ‘mistook his hypo attack for drunkenness’

  • Jack Johnson, 16, was watching the England vs Panama match at a Kent pub
  • Teenager said he had unknowingly suffered a hypo due to his Type 1 diabetes
  • Johnson, who has just finished his GCSEs, said he hadn’t had a drop of alcohol

A diabetic teenager who claims he was arrested and tackled to the floor by police who thought he was drunk has demanded an apology.

Jack Johnson, 16, was watching the England vs Panama World Cup match at the Harbour Arm in Folkestone, Kent, on Sunday with friends.

The teenager said he had unknowingly suffered a hypo thanks to his Type 1 diabetes – which meant his adrenaline levels rose to dangerous heights.

Jack said this led to him being arrested by Kent Police ‘completely unnecessarily’ when they wrongly thought he was drunk.

But the teenager, who has just finished his GCSEs, said he hadn’t had a drop of alcohol and was actually suffering from the effects of his disease.

Jack said: ‘I was feeling alright before I went down there, but any emotion can affect my blood sugars; adrenaline, happiness, anything.

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‘We were all cheering, chanting and that and then I went high.

‘One of my mates got kicked out by security and they were being very rude to him.

‘I wasn’t very happy so I went to find him but three or four security guards at the gate wouldn’t let me out.

‘They had no right to keep me in there, so I started pulling the fence saying you need to let me out of here.’

Jack Johnson, 16 (pictured), claims he was tripped over by police and says he was accused of being drunk

Jack said he was eventually let out of the fenced-off area and went to find out what was happening with his friend.

But after not getting any answers he went to return to the game, only to be told to leave.

Jack said: ‘There were two minutes left of the football and all my mates were in there so I went to go back in but the police officer who was right next to me just pushed me and said: ‘You need to leave’.

‘I asked him what he was doing, I didn’t get kicked out I just wanted to see what was happening with my friend.

‘I turned red because there was no need for it. Fair enough I did get angry and swore a bit, I did call him a w****r.

‘I started walking away because I was getting angry but he was like ‘I’m not having that’ and grabbed me by the arm.

‘Then one of them tripped me over from behind, I don’t know if it was accidental or deliberate.

‘Then three police officers tripped their legs out and they dropped me. I smashed my face, smashed my elbow, smashed my watch, smashed my phone.

‘I didn’t realise what was happening and it caused a lot of pain. They were sitting on top of me, that’s when I was told I was under arrest.

The diabetic teenager was arrested and tackled to the floor by police after watching England play Panama in the World Cup. Pictured: A bruise from when Jack Johnson, 16, was thrown to the ground by police

‘They handcuffed my hands behind my back when I was on the floor so I couldn’t have reached my insulin if I needed it.

‘I got into the back of the police van and the police officer turned round and said to me: ‘Who’s the f*****g w****r now?’

‘I don’t understand how it escalated to that, nothing had happened beforehand.

‘They were accusing me of being drunk, but I hadn’t had anything to drink. I said to them ‘test me’ with a breathalyser, but they wouldn’t.’

Jack, who is 6ft 4in, said he believes police mistook him for an adult and he wasn’t asked his age until he was at the police station.

His mum, Tina Connor, said the incident had a big effect on her son, who has abandoned his dream of becoming a police officer.

Tina said: ‘When he came home he was still quite angry and I said, right let’s check your ketones – that’s the nasty one that can put them in a coma and it was 1.4.

‘That means ‘you need to be in hospital right now’. We monitored it, gave him his insulin and it started to calm down as he calmed down.

‘Everyone’s blood range is between 4 and 7, Jack’s was 35 plus – that means his meter cannot read anymore. That sends him angry, confused, frustrated. He just goes crazy.

‘Diabetes is really an awful disease, it’s terrible. He was diagnosed two years ago and we’re still coming to terms with it.

‘Anything at all can trigger it. He can’t eat unless he has his insulin.’

Tina and her husband Norman picked Jack up from the station.

Tina said: ‘When we got there they all said he had been the most polite person. It didn’t take him long to get out at all, they kept saying ‘he shouldn’t be in here, he doesn’t deserve to be in here’.’

Jack said: ‘I feel a bit angry. Something needs to be done, I’ve got a lot of pain in my shoulder, I can’t wear my watch properly because it’s painful.

‘Because of my blood sugars are high my cut is infected now.

‘The police could have just calmed me down. They were too rough when they arrested me. I was handled as if I had a gun or something.

‘I wasn’t being a threat to the public, I was just having a hypo.

‘They were extremely intimidating. I don’t understand how it happened. I thought maybe because I left the police officers must have thought I got kicked out and misinterpreted it.

‘I want my watch and phone repaired and a public apology. Considering the amount of people that were watching I was made to look like scum and I did nothing wrong.

‘It was rough but at least England won.’

Kent Police confirmed they had received a formal complaint.

A spokesman for the force said: ‘Shortly before 3pm on Sunday 24 June 2018 officers arrested a 16-year-old boy who had just been asked to leave an event at Folkestone Harbour by security staff.

‘The boy was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and for causing a breach of the peace due to him being verbally abusive and aggressive towards the staff and police officers.

‘While in custody the boy disclosed he had a medical condition.

‘He was released without charge after being given words of advice around the breach of the peace, and arrangements were made for him to be collected by his parents.

‘A complaint has since been received about the manner of the boy’s arrest that is currently being reviewed. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further.’

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