Officers buy man a new shovel after he tries to walk away with someone else’s

Hamilton police officers responding to a call Saturday about a man who stole a shovel ended up buying him one and giving it to him as a gift.

Police say they were called around 1:30 p.m. after a man, believing a shovel from a local establishment in the 140 Centennial Parkway North area was his, tried to take the shovel. He was stopped by an employee of the establishment. This in turn, started an altercation and police were called.

Officers discovered the man, 49, is developmentally delayed and hearing impaired. He had lost his own shovel earlier in the day and somehow ended up away from his home.

The man took the establishment's shovel, cleared the sidewalk in the area and then began walking away with the shovel.

Police tried to communicate with the man, and a concerned passerby who knew sign language tried to assist. But tension by that time had escalated and communication was impossible.

Police eventually determined where the man lived and returned him home to his brother's care.

The officers then decided to buy the man a new shovel and gave it to him as a gesture of good will.

They also forwarded his information to the police service's seniors support branch to connect him with social services support.

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