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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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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    So many random attacks on uniformed officers lately. 5 here in Seattle where I am, 1 in Anchorage a few days ago, this one....a troubling trend to say the least.

  • Ring_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Very uplifting and shows that we are all in this together. Rest well my brother and great job to the medics who helped

  • Hero_max50


    over 4 years ago


    What an uplifting story about such a tragic incident. RIP Const. Czapnik. And thank you to the paramedics who stood up in the face of danger to do what they did in his honor!

  • V_curts_clothes_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Very powerful - what heroic performances from the paramedics, as well as, Constable Czapnik!

  • The_pictures_018_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Prayers out to the family.

  • Teller_star1_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I can not believe another officer would do this to one of his own......... just goes to show there are no immunities in this life!

  • Warrior_mask_max50


    over 4 years ago


    wow that touched my soul RIP brother

  • Schlit_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Stories like this really piss me off. RIP brother, you are now off duty. I hope all the criminals know they DO NOT want to wage war on the police.

  • Officer_down2_max160_max50_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Such a tragedy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Sometimes I don't know whether to thumbs up or thumbs down. Tragic for sure, but what a stand up act.

    As for the ER medics, like teachers in schools, I think any of them that care to get trained and maintain that training should have the green light to carry. I don't think it would have made much of a difference in this case but if you knew in advance when you would need to have a gun, you wouldn't be there to begin with.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Prayers to the family. Great Job paramedics. Too bad that he will only receive a jail sentence

  • Dsc00220_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Tragic, is it just me or does attacks on LEO seem to be on the rise!!

  • Beckham_2012_032_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sad story! May GOD be with the families.

  • Picture03_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Constable. It is sad to see such a despicable act committed against a fellow LEO. It becomes even more despicable to see it committed by one who was once one of us. I hope this POS dies a horrible, painful death in his incarceration. The EMT's who selflessly disarmed and restrained the piece of trash should be hailed as heroes and remembered for their valiant efforts. Thank you to them and to you Constable.

    From your brothers currently keeping the peace in the Middle East.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 4 years ago


    "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."

    I can answer that debate, it did not help the officer!

    Shall everyone carry a gun and wear armor? The criminal will only get a bigger gun and shoot you in the head, armored paper bags for the head......

    No, the criminal must be dealt with the first time as if he/she will kill in the future, prison is only an education base for criminals and they come out knowing more than some officers on how to commit crime than officers know how to prevent crime.

    Prisons cannot release until the criminal has learned, no more TV, no more free time, hard labor, back to basics, Joe Tent City is the way to deal with them....Make them no wanting to go back and make Judges responsible for those that underpreform......

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