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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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  • Jegg_max50

    Nathalie

    over 4 years ago

    150 Comments

    How can you be on suspension since 2006? One would think a termination would come about...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    gfraker

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    God speed sir. And THANK YOU.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Medic2629

    over 4 years ago

    6 Comments

    RIP Cons. Czapnik. As I read this article it brings to light that fact that things are getting worse and more dangerous for our LEO and Medics. Everyday its suicides, attempted shootings, domestic violence and on and on and on. The fact that it was another LEO is even more shocking. I have to agree with some of the others. Peace be to the Constables family, but to hell with his assailant.

  • Img_2238_max50

    Lighthouse23

    over 4 years ago

    174 Comments

    Rest in Peace Constable Czapnik.
    May God be with you family and the department you serve as well as the rest of the men in blue.
    Thank You medics for doing what you could and restraining the suspect.
    Its bad enough out there without you own attacking you.

  • Captured_2004-1-1_00028_max50

    LAC155

    over 4 years ago

    80 Comments

    Thoughts and prayers go out to all of you impacted by such a terrible event...

  • Seal_09_max50

    dgtxcop

    over 4 years ago

    50 Comments

    May god bless and comfort Constable Czapnik’s family. those medics put their lifes one the line as i'm sure all medics do from time to time, so to them i would also like to say thank you as he did for trying to save our brother in blue. the Perp a former police officer,how sad his life must be, to take the life another officer, may he be shown the same mercy as he showed constable Czapnik. R.I.P. Constable Czapnik, gods speed.

  • Prom_005_max50

    Jake3rd

    over 4 years ago

    48 Comments

    I couldn't decide for thumbs up or thumbs down. An x cop killing an officer is terrible but the courage shown by the medics is amazing and should be applauded!! I agree with jefferyladalejohnson. It seems the courts often view LEO's as second class citizens. It is just a part of the job if we are attacked. Maybe that is why ambushing officers is becoming so common. "Thank you". Well said Constable Eric Czapnik Rest in Peace!!!

  • Group_photo_at_shelter_max50

    policesupporter

    over 4 years ago

    28 Comments

    This is an awesome story. I feel that our rescue workers need some kind of protection as well when they are put into situations like this or any thing. They never know when a scene may be said as secure but it is not. Maybe we as citizens can talk to our local leaders in our governing bodies and see if we can't get something done

  • Funeral_max50

    jefferyladalejohnson

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    people been on the job 10 years, this hurts even worse that the assailant was another officer! @teachdj- what the public doesnt know and the courts do know is that officers get assaulted everday(myself included) and ive seen the charge down graded and out rt dismissed numerous times in the court. A SMACK IN MY FACE. Im not a sissy! I catchem fair and square, and if i hit u with an assault charge u did IT!!!!! HAVENT SEEN ONE GO TO JAIL FOR IT YET! THANKS NJ COURT SYSTEM

  • Iphone_pics_014_max50

    rebel911wi

    over 4 years ago

    450 Comments

    Are you serious? Another LEO attacking and killing a fellow LEO?! This is an outrage to our brother/sisterhood! Const. Czapnik was valiant right to the end. Just glad the paramedics saw this and were able to hold the guy. Good work on their end! God Bless you Constable Czapnik. Rest well with the angels

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Good story. Awesome man. Our hearts go out to his family and Ottawa Police. Pathetic that the attacker was another cop whatever his problems may have been.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    majordad

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    God bless the Constable's family, friends, and fellow officers. How do you prepare yourself for such an extraordinary set of circumstances? Time and place plus opportunity and will all coming together at the same time. Who would have thought? I try to always keep these on my mind.
    I know not what tomorrow holds, but I know Who holds tomorrow.

  • Shrel-only_max50

    ERIC4536

    over 4 years ago

    534 Comments

    The Emergency Service Units, by what ever name they are called are our Medic, Corpsman and life line. My hat is always off to them.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Shekky

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    I read this after finishing an article on how the politicians want the Inglewood, California taken over for "abuses." I think that it is time for regular citizens (I'm not a LEO) like myself to stand up and say enough is enough! We are damn thankful that there are men and women out there who put themselves on the line to keep us average joes safe and we don't give a goddamn about what happens to a bunch of whinning criminals. Screw em'

    Thank you all for your service. RIP Constable Czapnik

  • Shrel-only_max50

    ERIC4536

    over 4 years ago

    534 Comments

    This is a great story of the type of person Constable Eric Czapnik was. May his family and friends find peace.
    Such a tragedy. The full story is that the attacker, Kevin Gregson had brain tumors in the past. It is speculated that effected his behavior. I believe that is why he was suspended from RCMP?
    Regardless I hope the offender never sees the light of day.

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