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Slain Officer's Last Words to EMTs: 'Thank You'

Slain Officer's Last Words to EMTs: 'Thank You'

The National Post via YellowBrix

January 11, 2010

OTTAWA – As Constable Eric Czapnik lay dying from a mortal knife wound to the throat, he spoke two final and poignant words to his paramedic rescuers.

The patrolman had been writing case notes inside his cruiser, parked outside the emergency department of The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus, when a man approached and attacked him with a knife.

Four paramedics, none yet publicly identified, ran from the emergency room to help. It wasn’t until a male paramedic grabbed the attacker in a headlock from behind, that they realized the assailant had a knife.

As the attacker tried to reach around and stab the male paramedic, a petite female paramedic wrestled the weapon from his hand. A second female paramedic kicked him in the groin, and all three wrestled him to the ground. Another female paramedic attended to Const. Czapnik.

As he lay dying from the random attack, Const. Czapnik, 51, uttered his last words to the paramedics, according to police sources.

“Thank you,” he said.

That his very final act was an expression of gratitude to others is a powerful testament of a man who, as his mourners heard last week, cared deeply about others and about this community.

The first police officers to arrive on the scene found the suspect restrained with Const. Czapnik’s handcuffs, sitting in the back seat of his cruiser.

None of the paramedics were physically injured. But the incident is reviving debate whether paramedics should wear body armour and possibly even carry arms of some sort.

Kevin Gregson, 43, an RCMP officer on suspension from the force since 2006, is charged with first-degree murder. His next court appearance is on Jan. 19.

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  • Helicopter_max50


    over 4 years ago


    To those who are wondering; Gregson was suspended in 2006 after pulling a knife on a Mormon church leader. He was denied entry to a section of the temple and pulled a knife, telling the leader "you don't know how many ways I'm trained to kill."
    He had no previous interaction with Cst. Czapnik, or with the Ottawa Police Service. At this time, his motives are not known. Maybe he was angry at Law Enforcement in general...maybe he is just crazy.

  • Monday_march_3_police_blotter_max50


    over 4 years ago


    R.I.P Constable, thanks to the paramedics and there heroic efforts and bravery.
    Every one please watch yourselves while you are sitting somewhere writing or eating, even in your
    patrol vehicle!!

  • Blending__can_t_see_me_can_you__sq90_max50


    over 4 years ago


    what a brave man! he had to know his injury was serious and yet he showed the courage to say thank you to those tending to him if that doesn't put a knot in your throat you're not human. Outstanding work by the paramedics above and beyond the call of duty. There have been a lot of LEO attacks recently and I hope it's not a sign of the times to come and I miss the old days when the criminal element knew the rules "you don't kill cops"

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Why? This pos had a knife and went for the throat!! This is about as barberic as one can get. When I hear of these kinds of attacks I go into third orbit. These cowards are the scum of the earth. A RCMP. ?? Attack on one of those who try to keep those who try to scam the law from doing this kind of thing. So the SOB was mad because he was suspeneded from the force in 2006. Don't know all the particulars, but would like to know why this man had so much hate in his heart that he visited evil on a LE Officer. Good work EMTS. be ready and much courage was shown by those who out there to save lives. Thank you for all you do. RIP dear brother. God be with the family and friends thru all this.

  • 25-1-13-a_1__max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great work for the paramedics in being able to stop the attack and ultimately detain the suspect. R.I.P.Constable Czapnik, and know that your brothers and sisters now have the watch. This is another terrible reminder that we need to ALWAYS watch our six.

  • Helicopter_max50


    over 4 years ago


    My friend and squadmate had the honour of representing our service at the funeral, he said it was amazing to see officers from all over the continent come together like that. We truly are family.
    I hope those medics are properly recognized for their actions. Although it was too late to save Cst. Czapnik, they may have saved more lives. Glad they stopped the guy before he was able to harm anyone else.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    R.I.P.Constable Czapnik and may the paramedics recieve awards for their bravery in thier line of duty.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    RIP, Great job by the paramedics hope they get an appropriate reward and the offender gets what he deserves

  • 711022_max50


    over 4 years ago


    These medics put their life on the line to try to help save this LEO. We're all on the same team. RIP Constable Eric and thank you for your service.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    God Bless this family and GREAT WORK Paramedics!

  • Code_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great job Paramedics!!!!!!! Going above and beyond the call of duty!!!!!!! R.I.P Constable

  • Picture_055_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Very Very Sad ! God Bless you my Brother may the Angel's stay with you and your family! God Bless you and your family,

  • Police-4-1_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Wow, Hats of the courageous EMT's for apprehending the attacker. RIP Brother Czapnik, my prayers and thoughts are with the bereaved family.

  • Cdcr_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Very sad and touching story. Thank you to the EMT's and thank you to Constable Czapnik for the job well done. RIP.

  • Wtc_badge_max600_max160_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great job to the EMS team, Thank you for your help and capture.

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