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Man sentenced to 5 years for pair of gruesome, random Vancouver stabbings

Click to play video: 'Man who stabbed two random people in Vancouver sentenced'
Man who stabbed two random people in Vancouver sentenced
Dennis Prasad has been sentenced to five years in prison for two random stabbings that left both victims with life-altering injuries. Kristen Robinson has the details, including troubling new information on the attacks, and the criminal history of the 44-year-old perpetrator. – Jan 3, 2024

A man who randomly stabbed two people in Vancouver two years ago has been handed a five-year sentence.

Dennis Prasad, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault for the September 2022 attacks.

The first attack took place on Sept. 10, near Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and left the victim with “serious and life-altering” injuries, according to Vancouver police.

Click to play video: 'One man charged with two Vancouver knife attacks'
One man charged with two Vancouver knife attacks

The 55-year-old victim, a volunteer at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre, ultimately lost a kidney and has experienced a cascading set of health issues as a result of the attack, the court heard.

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The next day, Prasad stabbed bicycle delivery worker Hamidullah Habibi multiple times as he was dropping food off in Chinatown.

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Bystanders rushed to his aid and slowed the bleeding, but the injuries were so severe Habibi required surgery and 20 staples in his neck.

Habibi had immigrated to Canada from Afghanistan looking for a better life just four months before the attack. Since the attack, he has struggled with housing and has been living in his car, and is trying to send money home to a son in Afghanistan, the court heard.

Prasad was arrested at CRAB Park, where he was seen wading into the water with Habibi’s blood on his shirt.

At his sentencing hearing, the court heard Prasad had no criminal record in Canada, but the dual U.S. citizen has prior convictions in Nevada, California and Washington state, including assault with a firearm and carjacking.

He had crossed the border from Washington into B.C. three days before the first attack.

Click to play video: 'Food delivery worker recalls attack in Vancouver’s Chinatown'
Food delivery worker recalls attack in Vancouver’s Chinatown

The court also heard Prasad was under the influence of crystal methamphatime and experiencing psychosis during the first attack.

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The Crown noted both attacks were unprovoked and could have been fatal, leaving the victims facing emotional distress and economic consequences.

Crown said that while Prasad had shown some acceptance of responsibility, he appeared to have minimal willingness to deal with his meth addiction.

When the judge asked if he had anything to say, Prasad told the court: “I think the Crown was slightly mistaken in saying I wasn’t really remorseful.”

Following a joint submission from Crown prosecutors and defence lawyers, the judge sentenced to Prasad to five years, adding “I was considering a sentence in excess of 10 years.”

With credit for time served, Prasad will spend just over three more years in prison. He was also ordered to give a DNA sample, was handed a lifetime firearms ban and ordered to have no contact with either victim.

 

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