Randy Blain doesn’t consider himself to be a hero. But hero or not, there’s no question he’s courageous.
On June 14, he was driving through Toronto on his way home from SickKids with his eight-year-old daughter Sophia when an altercation on the sidewalk caught his eye. It was Toronto Police Service (TPS) Constable Lisa Forbes struggling to hold on to a man who first threw her to the ground and then started kicking and punching her.
“There were bystanders all over. I just angled my truck and said to Sophia, ‘Daddy needs to go help a police officer.’ I tackled him to the ground and once he was down I helped her cuff him.” In the midst of the action, Blain asked some women at the scene to check that Sophia was okay.
(Above from left) Randy Blain (shadow at lower right) runs to the aid of Toronto Police Service Constable Lisa Forbes, tackles the man, and holds him while the officer cuffs him. The photos were taken by a bystander.
He was able to get up when three or four other officers arrived, and checked on the state of Forbes. “She had some kind of damage to her hand and she was cut and scraped.”
Blain credits Forbes for not letting him get away. “I’ve got to give more credit to her as she was the one holding on to this guy as he was hitting her and kicking her. Good on her.”
Constable Forbes had responded to a call on Edward Street for a woman who had reported that she was held captive overnight in her apartment by a man, a TPS release said.
“When I got there, she was in the lobby and, as I was taking a statement and asking her what he looked like, he came out of the elevator and she said, ‘that’s him’,” recalled Forbes. “I walked up to him and, before I could have uttered three words, he tried to run away.”
In the resulting scuffle Forbes was pinned to the ground by the suspect. “I was unable to get a grip of him and I was concerned that he might get to my weapon,” she said.
Forbes was grateful for Blain’s assistance.
“There were about eight people looking on at the struggle and none of them stepped in to do anything,” she said. “This guy stopped his truck and came to my assistance moments before other officers arrived. With his help, I was able to regain control of the situation and put the suspect in handcuffs.”
The suspect, Jamal Hashi, is facing several charges including assaulting a police officer causing bodily harm, attempt to escape lawful custody and sexual assault with a weapon.
Sergeant Sean Cassidy said Forbes acquitted herself well in challenging circumstances. “I am very proud of her,” he said. “She did fantastic.”
He also said he’s recommending Blain for a citation for his unselfish act of bravery. (Read the TPS news story here.)
On the long drive home, Blain and Sophia talked about what happened. “I think it just further instills in her what Tanya and I have taught: you help people in need. And sometimes it hurts. Sometimes we need to give up something to help somebody. If we just give because we have extra it’s not as much of a blessing, but if we give and it hurts, there’s a blessing in that.”
Giving back isn’t uncommon for Blain, who owns Randy Blain Construction and is the lead builder on Habitat for Humanity Gateway Ontario North’s latest build in Huntsville. “He very graciously agreed to be our build lead earlier in the year,” says Habitat for Humanity Ontario Gateway North CEO David Morris. “I don’t know what we would do without Randy’s management skill.”
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