Teen sentenced for ‘despicable’ 2018 attack on Edmonton bus driver
WARNING: This story contains graphic details. Discretion is advised.
A 15-year-old boy has been sentenced to 20 months after what the judge described as a “despicable” attack on an Edmonton transit driver last fall.
In September 2018, a bus driver was stabbed repeatedly while parked at the Mill Woods Town Centre transit terminal. Police believed the teen was trying to steal the bus.
The boy, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated assault, carrying a concealed weapon and a breach.
In his sentencing decision Friday, the judge said people like transit drivers “should expect they can go to work, do their job and not end up fighting for their life in an unprovoked attack.”
Court was shown graphic surveillance video of the attack on Friday afternoon, which showed the teen raising a weapon over his head repeatedly, swinging and stabbing the driver.
The driver’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening. The driver, 65-year-old Mike Kostelny, was in court Friday and said he was stabbed 22 times, 13 of which he described as “major.”
His doctor said one of the stab wounds to his thigh was a centimetre away from hitting his main artery, he told the court, which could have caused him to bleed out.
The driver told court he’s suffered physical injuries, mental stresses, financial damages and fear for his safety. Kostelny said he has had “deeply disturbing dreams.”
The teen’s lawyer said his client “does act very much like a child, but he has committed an act which was very violent and he has admitted his involvement.” Court heard the youth started substance abuse at seven years of age.
Both lawyers in the case urged the boy to go to rehabilitation to deal with his substance abuse and mental health issues.
WATCH: Edmonton Transit bus driver stabbed by youth (Sept. 26, 2018)
Outside court Friday, Kostelny said he holds no animosity against the youth.
“I understand more now about his background and that he needs help,” he said. “You can have compassion and so on, but at the same time you have realize the nature of the sickness and the illness — the mental illness and the mental health issue — which the youth has obviously has had for some time now.
“I feel actually good that it appears he’s going to perhaps receive the help that he so badly needed for so long.
“I thank heaven, I thank God that I am alive. It’s a second chance, second lease on life. I’ve reflected a long time on the fact that I was spared.”
The judge accepted a joint submission for the 20-month sentence. With credit for time served, the teen has 187 days remaining in custody. He will then be under community supervision with conditions for 200 days.
The driver went back to work on April 15.
“At my age, you would think, ‘Why are you driving a bus?’ I do need the extra income.”
Kostelny said he is writing a book about the attack.
— With files from Sarah Kraus, Global News.
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