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John Hutchinson

Commissionaire prevents wanted man from fleeing the country

January 14, 2021

Commissionaire John Hutchison has been awarded a CEO Commendation for his composure and vigilance. Thanks to him, a wanted man was kept from boarding an aircraft until police arrived.

A male international student was arrested outside of J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport last summer in an assumed attempt at fleeing the country.

The individual entered the airport in the early morning and drew Cmre Hutchison's attention. Hutchison has 45 years of law enforcement experience and noticed that the man arrived quite late for his flight and seemed upset.

“Because of the time of day, he was probably just in time before the Air Canada counter would be getting ready to close,” said Hutchison.

The man then allegedly caused a disturbance at the Air Canada counter, which drew Hutchison over.

"The suitcase he had was overweight, and he took exception to the fact that he had to pay extra," said Hutchison. "I heard some raised voices and made my presence known down there because that's what we do when we hear people arguing."

Hutchison acted in his role as airport security and approached the counter to help deescalate the conflict. During their conversation, Hutchison decided to ask one of the Air Canada employees to call the Cape Breton Regional Police.

During the event, Hutchison states that he could smell alcohol. The situation continued to escalate as the man allegedly unloaded the contents of his suitcase across the floor.

Hutchison continued to attempt to diffuse the situation. They continued to speak until the Cape Breton Regional Police arrived and took the individual into custody, who was later charged with breaching an undertaking by consuming alcohol.

The 22-year-old student had been mandated not to leave the province and not possess or consume alcohol in March of 2020 after being charged with impaired driving and refusing a breathalyzer demand. He had entered not guilty pleas to the impaired driving charges.

Hutchison has worked for Commissionaires Nova Scotia for over two years at the J.A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport. He says that he has called the Cape Breton Regional Police only four times before this event.

Hutchison's last position was with the Department of Justice Sheriff Services for 25 years. Before that, he was a police officer.