A police officer who was run down by a car before he was stabbed in the street told a jury Thursday that he was thinking of his children as he struggled with his attacker.
Asked what was going through his mind, an emotional Const. Mike Chernyk said he was trying to survive for his kids.
“I’m a single parent with two children,” Chernyk said as he broke down in tears.
He told court that he saw a vehicle approaching and heard an engine revving as he was directing traffic outside an Edmonton Eskimos football game in September 2017.
“I thought the vehicle was going to hit me, so I turned to my left to get out of the way,” he testified.
“I thought I gave myself enough time to move out of the way of the vehicle, but that didn’t happen,” he said before breaking down and reaching for a tissue.
“The next thing I remember … I was going through the air and tucking my chin to my chest.”
He then remembers someone on top of him.
“I could feel the top of my head burning and my hairline was very wet,” he said. He didn’t realize until later that it had been blood.
“It was at that moment that I realized there was a black male on top of me, stabbing me with a knife.”
Chernyk said the man tried to grab the officer’s service pistol, but he was able to push the gun further into the holster.
He was able to push the man off him and call for emergency backup.
“Officer down …” Chernyk was heard saying in a recording of his call that was played for the jury.
He testified he started to run after the attacker, but realized his fellow officers might not be able to find him if he collapsed, so he waited by his police vehicle for medical help to arrive.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 32, has pleaded not guilty to 11 charges, including attempted murder and dangerous driving. He is also charged with aggravated assault against Chernyk.
It’s alleged that after the attack on the officer, Sharif fled and drove a speeding U-Haul van through Edmonton’s downtown, striking four pedestrians.
Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press