A man who says he was slashed with a knife in downtown Yellowknife Tuesday night is crediting the quick actions of bystanders and first responders in saving his life.

“I’m lucky to be alive,” said Richard Tardiff.

In an interview with Yellowknifer Wednesday morning, just hours after he was released from Stanton Territorial Hospital, Tardiff said he was socializing with friends on the corner of 50 Street and 50 Avenue when a man he knew showed up at the same spot.

Tardiff said he and the man began talking. There was no animosity between the two when they first encountered each other, Tardiff added.

Tardiff figures the man must have then “taken something the wrong way.”

Without warning, Tardiff said the man took out “some kind of claw knife,” and slashed him before fleeing the area — near Zehabesha Traditional Ethiopian Restaurant across from the downtown Reddi-Mart.

Tardiff said he didn’t even register he’d been slashed until he looked down — he saw an inch-deep gash from running his shoulder all the way down to his bellybutton.

Brendan Burke/NNSL photo.
Richard Tardiff says he’s lucky to be alive after being slashed with what he believes was a knife on Tuesday night in downtown Yellowknife.
Sept. 25, 2019.

Tardiff said he then ran into the nearby Raven Pub, located on 50 Street, for help. Once inside, a bartender told him to put pressure on his wound and paramedics were called.

“The ambulance came in a minute,” recalled Tardiff.

Yellowknifer arrived at the scene of the incident shortly after 9:30 p.m.

A bartender who asked not to be identified said a man ran into the popular nightclub with an injury that appeared to be serious.

A bystander on 50 Street, who also wished to remain anonymous, told Yellowknifer the victim has been “slashed.” He said the man’s injury was significant.

Police, who located an injured man outside after responding to the bar just before 9:30 p.m., stated Wednesday they’d arrested and charged Christopher Cook, 34, in connection with the alleged attack.

RCMP didn’t state outright how the victim had been injured.

According to a news release, the man — not identified by police — was treated at Stanton Territorial Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Tardiff told Yellowknifer suffered a “fraction of a collapsed lung,” as a result of the alleged knife attack.

Bandaging covering most of Tardiff’s chest and torso now covers his wound.

Cook is charged with possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, aggravated assault and operation while prohibited.

Police stated he was arrested without incident at his home shortly after the alleged aggravated assault occurred.

The charges, along with the allegations outlined by Tardiff, haven’t been proven in court.
Tardiff said he’s received support following the incident.

“I’m grateful for the thoughts and prayers.”

Brendan Burke

As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility...

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