This Citizen Award acknowledges civilians who have:
- intervened in a crime in progress;
- assisted the Edmonton Police Service in apprehending an offender;
- played a major role in the successful outcome of a police investigation; or
- put themselves at personal risk by coming to the aid of a police officer or fellow citizen in a dangerous situation, and in doing so have prevented injury, trauma or death.
Their commendable actions have made our community a safer place to live, work and play.
The 2019 EPC Citizen Awards were presented to:
Dr. Tannis Spencer
On September 18, 2018 in the early morning, a number of citizens were waiting for a train at the South Campus LRT platform. Suddenly and without provocation the subject accused began to violently stab the victim multiple times in a swift and vicious attack. The accused continued to stab the victim until Mr. Wright immediately jumped in and without regard for his own safety, pulled the attacker off the victim. This selfless act of bravery undoubtedly saved the victim’s life as the attacker showed no sign of stopping his assault with the knife.
Mr. Wright and Marwa Ali, who had been nearby, immediately came to his aid. Tannis Spencer, a family physician, and Heather Morris, a registered nurse, arrived on the train and came out to assist the victim upon recognizing the seriousness of the situation. All four citizens assisted in trying to stop the bleeding, while Tannis and Heather monitored vitals and level of consciousness. The victim showed great courage and strength throughout the ordeal, and managed to stay awake and interactive despite the seriousness of his injuries. Paramedics and EPS arrived shortly afterwards and took over from the citizens we are recognizing here today.
The victim was a complete stranger to the four people who came to his aid. They did not hesitate to step up to help a fellow citizen in a situation that could well have potentially deadly results.
On June 16th 2018, Constable Laura Clarke was patrolling in the downtown area in a marked police vehicle with a civilian ride-along, Mr. Thomas O’Leary, a Crown Prosecutor.
Constable Clarke observed a highly drug intoxicated male jumping in and out of traffic which was quite heavy at the time. Constable Clarke recognized the need to intervene in order to prevent injury to the male. She initiated a subject stop and approached the subject, who yelled at her and suddenly jumped toward her and grabbed her by her head and pushed his thumbs into her eyes. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation Mr. O’Leary immediately joined Constable Clarke in the altercation with the male. Although not equipped with any weapons and wearing a business suit, he didn’t hesitate to dive in. Constable Clarke deployed the CEW, and called in the 10-13 voicing her precise location. The subject grabbed the wire and pulled the prongs out and a second time attacked Constable Clarke trying to gouge her eyes. Amid the attack, Constable Clarke was able to turn the CEW off and deploy a second set of prongs, and even then, the subject remained combative. With her vision now very compromised due to the attack, she managed to deliver several dry stuns with her CEW. Constable Clarke and Mr. O’Leary were ultimately able to subdue the male and remained kneeling on the subject until assisting units arrived.
Mr. O’Leary’s actions that day helped immensely in bringing the subject under control. Mr. O’Leary was under no obligation to act, but he selflessly placed himself in danger to assist our member.
On February 25, 2018 just after 5 p.m. a male attended an indoor shooting range allegedly to shoot a handgun for recreational purposes.
The patron selected a revolver and purchased ammunition. He was briefed on safety by the Range Officer, Beau Johnson. When the briefing concluded the patron entered a shooting bay and fired some rounds into a target.
As Mr. Johnson monitored the male, he observed him place the gun under his chin. Without regard for his own safety Mr. Johnson immediately grabbed the cylinder of the revolver to prevent the male from firing the gun. A struggle ensued and Mr. Johnson maintained his grip on the revolver while calling for help.
Staff members Jeffrey Dehitta, Daniel Shin and Richard Weiss ran to his aid, and through their quick response were able to disarm the male. They spent time with him following the event, were further able to calm him, and he was subsequently transported to hospital for the help he needed. The heroic actions of these four gentlemen was captured on dramatic video which confirmed the event.
These four men put themselves at great peril to save a life without hesitation and went above and beyond with this selfless act of exceptional valour.
On March 17, 2018 police responded to a location where initial reports stated there had been a stabbing and the victim was in serious condition. They found the victim lying on the floor in a hallway, unconscious, with a stab wound to the inner right thigh.
Mr. Ghafouri was also in that hallway preforming CPR on the victim. He had been doing so for several minutes until first responders arrived and took over.
The victim had lost a great deal of blood and had no pulse. The members placed him on a spin board and carried him down to the ambulance. One of the attending members, (Constable MacNeil) travelled with the victim by ambulance and continued chest compressions while EMS tended to the injury on his leg. As they arrived at hospital, the victim just then regained a pulse and was able to communicate with EMS by blinking.
Mr. Ghafouri played a large part in saving this citizen’s life with his actions that day before emergency responders arrived, and those actions certainly are worthy of recognition.
Early in the morning of April 28, 2018 police responded to a report of trouble not know. Initial reports stated that Mr. Wells had called stating he heard groaning coming from the suite next door and it sounded like someone was in extreme distress. Upon police arrival Mr. Wells indicated that the groaning had become progressively louder.
Police attempted to contact the resident in the suite by knocking and looking through the windows. After several failed attempts but still hearing sounds coming from inside, Mr. Wells contacted the property manager who arrived shortly, with a key to access the suite.
When police entered they found a barely conscious male in medical distress and barely able to communicate. EMS was called and determined the male was going into a diabetic coma and had he been left unattended for much longer would have faced life threatening consequences.
Mr. Wells actions directly resulted in the life of his neighbour being spared that day.
On the early evening of June 06, 2018 police were called to respond to a report of a large breed dog attacking a woman and her cat in Edmonton’s North East.
Upon police arrival Mr. Jesse Shields was restraining the offending dog that reportedly weighed 80 lbs. The dog had attacked and severely injured a cat, and the female owner of the cat. The woman sustained several cuts, scrapes and puncture wounds as a result of the attack, and required hospitalization. The cat required emergency surgery.
Mr. Shields witnessing this incident took the initiative to put himself at great personal risk in order to intervene and help the woman. Mr. Shields took hold of the dog by wrapping his arm around the dog’s head and neck, pulling him close to him on the ground. Even when police offered to take his place, Mr. Shields remained in position restraining the dog for approximately 25 minutes!
Mr. Shields actions were selfless and went beyond any expectation to assist a fellow citizen and her pet. Mr. Shields showed great courage, and no doubt prevented further injury to the woman as well as her cat.
On July 19, 2018 at 3:45 two males entered the Sobey’s Grocery Store at 5011 – 23 Avenue. The pair obtained a grocery cart and selected merchandise valued at over $400. With no intent to pay for the items, both males walked past all the checkout lanes and were exiting the store. When they got through the first set of doors the shopping cart wheels locked. Both males were then confronted by Sobey’s staff members who attempted to stop them from stealing the merchandise. One male sprayed two of the store employees with bear spray and then both engaged in a physical altercation with the employees.
Mr. Radwan saw this unfolding as he was entering the store. As one male was attempting to flee he sprayed Mr. Radwan at point blank range with the bear spray. Mr. Radwan tackled the suspect, and unable to disarm him at first, was sprayed a second time with the bear spray when they were on the ground. Mr. Radwan continued his attempts to gain control of the suspect, eventually causing the suspect to drop the bear spray. Once again, however the suspect gained his footing and attempted to flee. Mr. Radwan was ultimately able to tackle him to the ground and prevent him from leaving the scene. The second suspect fled.
Mr. Radwan was aided by Robert Sliwkanich of Sobeys and another citizen who arrived from the parking lot, Mr. Wayne Parks. Mr. Parks and Mr. Sliwkanich assisted Mr. Radwan in restraining the suspect and preventing him from fleeing until police arrived to arrest the suspect.
Fortunately neither citizen or the employees were seriously injured beyond effects of the bear spray, and cuts and scrapes from the physical altercation.
0n April 19, 2018 just after 6 p.m. a Co-op cab driver picked up a male and female. After attending a few locations the female was dropped off and the male asked to be driven across town to see a friend’s to get payment for the fare, which the driver did. Ultimately the fare didn’t get money to pay and the driver was advised by dispatch to drive to Calder Community Police Station.
On the way the fare suddenly lunged forward from the back seat and with a hunting knife attempting to cut the driver’s neck. The driver was able to react quickly enough to prevent the knife from plunging into his neck. The attack continued with the male wildly stabbing and slashing at the driver.
Somehow, amid the attack the driver managed to pull the vehicle over and stop.
While the attack was occurring, two citizens, Adam Sawaryn and Willis Gunderson saw the taxi screech to a halt and heard the driver screaming for help from inside the vehicle.
Mr. Sawaryn and Gunderson quickly called 911 and ran over to the cab, opened the doors and struggled to pull the attacker off the driver. Mr. Sawaryn saw the knife on the floor and threw it into a treed area to keep the attacker for reaching it again. Mr. Sawaryn and Mr. Gunderson then pulled the attacker from the vehicle and restrained him until police arrived minutes later.
Mr. Sawaryn and Mr. Gunderson’s actions represent the best of the Edmonton Community. They quite possibly saved the life of the driver and assisted in the arrest of this very dangerous individual.