Monday, October 7, 2019
Canada: Muslim driver hit cop with truck, tried to stab him to death, then hit 4 others, “wanted to kill people”
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif intended to kill people when he led police on a high-speed chase through downtown Edmonton after allegedly attacking Const. Mike Chernyk, Crown prosecutors argued on his first day of trial.
Sharif, 32, is accused of 11 offences, including 5 counts of attempted murder in connection with the events of September 30, 2017. He pleaded not guilty to the offences after jury selection Monday.
"Once you've heard the evidence, it's the Crown’s position that you'll be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Abdulahi Sharif wanted to kill people," Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Wheaton told the jury. "He tried first to murder Const. Chernyk and then during an extremely dangerous driving pattern, he fled from police causing bodily harm to four strangers.
"It's the Crown’s position he intentionally tried to kill these people by hitting them in that U-haul truck."
Sharif sat in the prisoner’s box next to an interpreter, who's translating the proceedings into Somali. Court heard Chernyk was alone manning a traffic stop around 8 p.m. "Suddenly, he noticed headlights coming toward him," Wheaton said. "He heard the sound of a vehicle accelerating. He tried to move out of the way but it was too late.
A white Chevy Malibu "plowed into him and he flew through the air," she continued. "A number of bystanders tried to come to his aid as he laid on his back and tried to get his bearings."
"But suddenly the driver of that vehicle was there. A black man in dark clothing with a knife and he was trying to stab Const. Chernyk in the head with that knife. The bystanders saw the knife and they fled, fearing for their lives. Const. Chernyk was now alone, fighting for his."
Court heard Cherynk kept his hand on his gun as his assailant fought for it. Eventually they disengaged and the attacker fled into the night. A few hours later, around 11 pm, officers manning a containment point at 112 Avenue and Wayne Gretzky Drive stopped a man driving a U-Haul. When an officer took the driver’s licence, the vehicle sped off.
Police followed the speeding vehicle into downtown Edmonton, Wheaton said, reaching speeds of up to 85 km/h. When the chase reached 109 Street, the speeding truck turned into the alley The Pint nightclub and struck 2 pedestrians. 2 more were hit near Audreys Books, located at 107 Street and Jasper Avenue, before a constable in a police vehicle knocked the van onto its side and pulled out a suspect.
"The Crown’s position is none of the collisions were accidents," Wheaton said. "Mr. Sharif could've avoided people in that alley but he didn’t. He intentionally hit them. He could've stayed on the road by Audreys Books but he intentionally drove into a crowd of people."
RCMP officer Ned Mirjanic, a sergeant with the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), testified he received a call about Chernyk 9 pm. He assembled his team at EPS headquarters a few hours later, at that point city police and RCMP management determined the file should be passed to INSET.
"As a police officer, we always try to get what happened and we’re always conscious in attempting to determine why it happened," he said in sum. "We don’t always get (the) why."
at 12:16 PM