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Off-duty officer's bid to arrest boy over snowball incident in Northern Ireland probed by Ombudsman

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The video of the incident has been viewed more than 100,000 times online.

The video of the incident has been viewed more than 100,000 times online.

The video of the incident has been viewed more than 100,000 times online.

The Police Ombudsman is investigating an off-duty PSNI officer's attempt to arrest a 14-year-old boy after a snowball was thrown at a moving vehicle in Limavady.

It comes as a video of the incident, which occurred in a shop in Irish Green Street in the town on Thursday February 27, was viewed more than 100,000 times on social media.

The video shows the off-duty officer restraining the boy, who was in school uniform, and explaining to him that he is under arrest.

It is understood the officer intervened after a snowball was thrown at a moving vehicle moments earlier.

The video shows the pair struggling and words are exchanged.

The footage does show the officer explaining his actions and asking the schoolboy if he understands what is happening.

The officer tells the 14-year-old boy that he is being arrested for attempted criminal damage and that he cannot leave because he is being detained. He then tells the boy that he is under arrest for resisting the officer's attempts to restrain him.

The officer then takes the schoolboy into a store room and the door is closed. It is not clear what happens behind the door.

The parents of the boy contacted BBC Radio Foyle about the incident over the weekend, saying they were "angry and disturbed" by the incident and that the officer should have noticed the boy was in "serious distress".

The parents added: "It's very sad that he was treated so poorly."

The parents told the BBC they do not believe a warrant card was shown and that no one from the PSNI has visited their home or contacted them about it. The PSNI has not yet confirmed if a warrant card was shown during the attempted arrest and it is not clear if the boy was arrested following the end of the video clip.

A Police Ombudsman spokesperson confirmed it is investigating an "altercation involving a police officer and a schoolboy".

“We were initially notified about the incident by police, and have since also received a complaint about what happened," the spokesman added.

“Our investigators have begun the process of gathering evidence to assess the appropriateness of the officer’s actions during the incident.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: "Police received a report of an incident at approximately 10:20am on Irish Green Street in Limavady on Thursday, 27th February.

"It was reported that snowballs had been thrown in the area, and that one had struck a passing vehicle. It was reported that a teenager was assaulted.

"The Office of the Police Ombudsman is investigating, therefore, it would be inappropriate to comment any further."

Belfast Telegraph