Off-duty officer attacked by 8 teens while trying to help alleged theft victim

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO/CNN) - An off-duty officer in California is recovering from his injuries after a group of teenagers allegedly kicked, punched and choked him at a shopping mall.

Police say a group of eight teenagers attacked an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer at a shopping mall on Black Friday. (Source: Emeryville Police Department/KGO/CNN)

Authorities say surveillance video shows a young woman approach a group of teenagers on the night of Black Friday at the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, California. She claimed the group stole her cell phone from her 30 minutes earlier and demanded they give it back.

The group of eight allegedly began violently shoving her. An off-duty officer with the California Highway Patrol witnessed the incident and intervened on the woman’s behalf.

Police say the group then began to attack the off-duty officer. He was punched, kicked and choked to the point where he lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness, he used pepper spray on the suspects.

Police employed by a nearby Apple store responded to the attack. Two juveniles, a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old, were arrested. Six others remain at large.

The off-duty officer eventually drove himself to a hospital. He is recovering from his injuries.

The investigation is ongoing.

"We’re trying to get as much video as we can from witnesses that were there that may have recorded it on their cell phone,” said Detective Jaime Pardo with the Emeryville Police Department.

Copyright 2019 KGO, Emeryville Police Department via CNN. All rights reserved.