Officers awarded for bravery

Three Red Deer City RCMP officers are being commended for bravery for safely arresting a knife-wielding suspect before he could harm others.

Three Red Deer City RCMP officers are being commended for bravery for safely arresting a knife-wielding suspect before he could harm others.

Const. Stuart Kirkpatrick, Const. Andrew Piitz and Const. Pranchalee Poonyapak received Commendations for Bravery for showing courage “in the face of very dangerous circumstances” from RCMP K Division’s commanding officer, Deputy Commissioner Marianne Ryan.

At 5:18 a.m. on Sept. 6, 2015, Red Deer RCMP received a complaint about a man with a five-inch hunting knife stabbing items in the Mac’s convenience store at 6888-50 Ave. in Red Deer.

After RCMP officers arrived in two police cruisers, the erratic suspect attempted to stab Const. Piitz through his closed, driver’s side window before stabbing and damaging other vehicles. The suspect also tried to stab Const. Kirkpatrick through his open window. Then he appeared to surrender.

Const. Piitz left his cruiser and told the man he was under arrest and not to move. Meanwhile, Const. Poonyapak also got out of her vehicle.

But when an attempt was made to handcuff the male suspect, he suddenly got up and charged at the officers.

The RCMP constables worked together to corner the suspect in the parking lot, and managed to make the arrest. While there was “potential for grievous bodily harm, bodily injury, or death,” according to an RCMP statement, the officers took control of the situation and brought about a safe resolution.

Drew Alexander Wilke, 19, of Red Deer was charged with three counts of assault on police officers, as well as weapon and mischief offenses. He was fined and handed a suspended sentence with 24 months probation in January.

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