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Man charged in courthouse assault that injured cop

A sheriff's deputy stands in front of the doors to Halifax provincial court after the courthouse was closed because of an altercation inside the building on Thursday morning, Oct. 10, 2019.
A sheriff's deputy stands in front of the doors to Halifax provincial court after the courthouse was closed because of an altercation inside the building on Thursday morning. A 24-year-old man is facing multiple charges in relation to the incident that injured a Halifax Regional Police officer. - Ryan Taplin

A 24-year-old man is facing multiple charges in relation to a Halifax provincial courthouse assault that left a city police officer with non-life threatening injuries.

Mahmoud Ahmed Altawil, 24, has been charged with one count of aggravated assault of a peace officer, one count of assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm, one count of aggravated assault, three counts of assaulting a peace officer, one count of escaping lawful custody and one count of resisting arrest, according to an HRP news release.

The incident happened just before 11 a.m. when the man allegedly tried to flee custody after receiving a sentence of 18 days in custody and a 155-day conditional sentence on a raft of charges incurred over several months in 2018.

The offences included assault on May 14, 2018, breach of a court order, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and evading police using a motor vehicle on July 12, 2018, breach of a court order on Aug. 2, 2018, forgery of a passport on Aug. 3, 2018, breach of a court order and failure to attend court on Aug. 13, 2018, failure to attend court on Sept. 12, 2018, theft under $5,000 on Oct. 19, 2018, theft over $5,000 on Oct. 29, 2018, and failure to attend court on Oct. 31, 2018. 

The police officer was in the courthouse on an unrelated matter and was injured when the escape attempt happened.

A Chronicle Herald reporter was in another courtroom in the building at the time and heard a commotion and shouting coming from the central staircase in the courthouse. EMTs treated the officer, who has served with HRP for three years, at the scene and transported him to hospital.

Bystanders at the time theorized a broken wrist and facial lacerations were among the injuries but authorities have not confirmed that information. 

Altawil is scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on Tuesday.

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