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Edmonton police officer who was stabbed testifies on Day 2 of Sharif trial

Click to play video 'Edmonton police officer who was run over and stabbed testifies at Sharif trial' Edmonton police officer who was run over and stabbed testifies at Sharif trial
WATCH ABOVE: For the first time since he was hit by a car and stabbed, Const. Mike Chernyk publicly spoke about what happened to him outside Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium two years ago. Fletcher Kent has the latest from Abdulahi Hasan Sharif's attempted murder trial. WARNING: This story contains disturbing content. – Oct 3, 2019

WARNING: Some readers may find the details and videos in this story to be disturbing.

The second day of a trial for a man accused of attacking a police officer and then using a U-Haul van to run over pedestrians in downtown Edmonton heard Const. Mike Chernyk, the officer, who came under attack, share an emotional account of what happened to him.

On Sept. 30, 2017, Chernyk was working special duty outside an Edmonton Eskimos game at Commonwealth Stadium when a car slammed into him. The driver then got out and began attacking him with a knife.

On Thursday, a Crown prosecutor asked Chernyk what went through his mind as he began to fight off his attacker.

“[I was] trying to survive for my kids,” Chernyk said while wiping away tears. “I’m a single parent of two children.”
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Abdulahi Hasan Sharif  is facing 11 charges, including five counts of attempted murder, in connection with the events that unfolded two years ago.

On Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Wheaton said that a number of people came to Chernyk’s aid after he was initially hit by the car but that they fled after the driver approached and began trying to stab the officer in the head.

READ MORE: Accused ‘wanted to kill people’ the night of Edmonton vehicle attacks: Crown

Click to play video 'Crown alleges accused ‘wanted to kill people’ the night of Edmonton vehicle attacks' Crown alleges accused ‘wanted to kill people’ the night of Edmonton vehicle attacks
Crown alleges accused ‘wanted to kill people’ the night of Edmonton vehicle attacks – Oct 2, 2019

Chernyk told the court he noticed lights approaching him before he was hit by the car.

“I could hear the engine accelerating and the vehicle travelling faster,” he said. “I thought the vehicle was going to hit me so I turned to my left to get out of the way.

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“I thought I’d given myself enough time to move out of the way of the vehicle, but that didn’t happen.”

He said he remembered flying through the air and trying to protect his head. His next memory was of someone being on top of him and feeling a burning sensation on his head, something he quickly realized was the pain from being stabbed by his attacker.

Chernyk told the court how he fought off the attacker.

“With my left hand I grabbed at the knife the male was holding to stop him from stabbing me,” he said. “As soon as I did that I could feel the male feeling around my duty belt for my service pistol.

“I reached with my right hand, grabbed my pistol and pushed it further into the holster so that it would not come out.”

Chernyk said he was then able to overpower the attacker and get the knife away from him.

“[I] called for emergency backup on my radio, put my left hand on my head to where I thought I was bleeding from, and with my right hand, took my service pistol out of its holster and pointed it at the male,” he said, adding that the suspect then ran and he pursued him.
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“I began to follow him,” Chernyk said while breaking down in tears, “but I didn’t know how badly I was injured and I felt it best to not follow him because of how injured I was.

“I didn’t want to create a problem where I couldn’t, I wouldn’t want to create a problem for my fellow police officers responding to the area and not being able to find me, so I stayed by my marked police vehicle, [so that] in case I collapsed, help would be able to find me.”

In addition to hearing testimony from Chernyk, jurors were shown surveillance videos of the incident that unfolded later that September night, when four people were struck by a U-Haul van.

Jurors saw footage of the van driving through downtown Edmonton, at times veering through oncoming traffic and with police vehicles pursuing it.

One of the videos was of the alley outside a bar and showed a pedestrian being hit by the van.

Click to play video 'Surveillance video of van hitting pedestrians in Edmonton shown in court' Surveillance video of van hitting pedestrians in Edmonton shown in court
Surveillance video of van hitting pedestrians in Edmonton shown in court – Oct 3, 2019

Sharif, who has been in custody since the incident, is representing himself in his trial. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges laid against him.

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