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Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra executive director recovering after stabbed in the face

Mark Turner, 36, was rushed to hospital after a man stabbed with the blunt end of a fork. The attack happened inside the SSO office on 20th Street West.
Mark Turner, 36, was rushed to hospital after a man stabbed with the blunt end of a fork. The attack happened inside the SSO office on 20th Street West. File / Global News

The executive director of Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is recovering from wounds he suffered after being stabbed in the face on Tuesday afternoon.

Mark Turner, 36, was rushed to hospital after a man stabbed with the blunt end of a fork. The attack happened inside the SSO office on 20th Street West.

The office has an open door policy and they typically have all sorts of people coming through the office on a regular basis.

READ MORE: Police respond to injured person in Saskatoon’s Sutherland neighbourhood

“Anytime somebody walks in and doesn’t seem to be here to buy tickets or doesn’t just want to browse the books, we ask them how we can help them,” SSO development director Angela Kempf said. “We have called the police in the past, but this is the first time anything violent has happened.”

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Kempf said the SSO has been in the neighborhood for years, and the man that came into the office on Tuesday afternoon wasn’t known to the staff. He was acting strange before attacking Turner.

“He seemed to be focused on Mark quite a bit, even though there were three other people in the room and we were asking him how we could help him,” Kempf said. “And after a minute, maybe at the most, he lunged out and hit mark in the face.”

Kempf said the man was mumbling to himself when he was in the office. He walked out just after the attack.

The suspect was found by an officer at the intersection of 20th Street and Avenue E South.

He resisted arrest, and the officer and a bystander restrained him until additional officers arrived.

A police car was also damaged while he was being taken into custody.

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Police believe he may have been under the influence of an intoxicant, and a search turned up hydromorphone and drug paraphernalia.

The 37-year-old Saskatoon man is charged with aggravated assault, mischief, obstructing an officer, and possession of hydromorphone.

According to Kempf, Turner suffered a traumatic injury around his eye, but he can still see and is expected to fully recover. She said everyone still remains quite shaken following the ordeal, but the volunteers in the building handled the situation to the best of their abilities.

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“We just leapt into action and did what we could to ensure Mark was OK and everybody else was safe as well,” Kempf said.

The SSO office will remain closed until the Tuesday after the long weekend, but operations are expected to resume as normal. Changes are expected to the office’s open door policy, but it’s too early for staff to confirm how they plan to do so.

-With files from Global’s David Giles