‘It was full-on survival instincts’ Bear Clan Patrol members talk about encounter with armed man on Winnipeg bus


A member of the Winnipeg Bear Clan Patrol was treated in hospital after being stabbed  by a man on a bus who was threatening another passenger.

Jonathan Meikle and his Bear Clan partner Matthew Shorting intervened in an incident on Sunday night.

“It became a grappling match between me and the attacker,” said Meikle. “In my mind it was full on survivor instincts.”

Both were on a bus at around midnight when a man began yelling racial slurs and threats toward another passenger.

Shorting remembers the man saying, “No one on this bus will do anything.”

That’s when Meikle and Shorting noticed he had a knife.

When Meikle and Shorting noticed the attacker following the passenger off the bus, they jumped into action.

The two off duty Bear Clan Patrol volunteers kicked and pulled the attacker off the bus.

“To me this guy’s a threat.  He’s a threat to my life, he’s a threat to everyone’s life.  I needed to get that knife away from him.”

Meikle says they were able to get the knife away from him, and detained him until police arrived.

That’s when Meikle realized he had been stabbed in the leg, which resulted in a hospital visit and eight staples.

Winnipeg Police Cst Jay M.urray said in situations like this, police advise people to put themselves in a position of safety and call the police.

But he admits that’s not always possible.

“In this situation they put themselves in front of this, they potentially stopped somebody from getting seriously hurt,” he said.

Devon Evan Charles Henderson has been charged with robbery, uttering threats and assault with a weapon.

Murray said police believe the suspect was involved in a robbery at the bus stop near Graham Avenue and Edmonton Street before boarding the bus.

Despite the altercation, Meikle and Shorting empathize for the man.

“This individual is not solely to blame,” said Shorting. “There’s environments that shaped him, he didn’t get there by himself.”

Meikle said he understands what Henderson is going through, because he has his own dark past and just celebrated a year of sobriety.

“He was not in a well place,” said Meikle. “There’s something that caused him to act out this way.  And I think we need to look and put under a microscope more of our systems and really get to the root causes of what’s causing all these events to take place.

“I think we can do better as a society.”

In hopes to avoid another situation like this, the pair want the Bear Clan to become more of a safety role for Winnipeg Transit.

“We want better relationships between Indigenous people and the police, and most importantly we definitely want healing for the person harmed,” said Shorting.


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