Rocky Mountain Jihad: Bail denied in Banff stabbing
* Unfortunately you have to read yourself throughÂ most of this article before you know that its a Muhammean attack on Christians, you just never read the word ‘Muslim’- let alone JIHAD…
A young Australian man attacked and stabbed on Banff Avenue early Sunday morning (June 22) will be in hospital for at least another two weeks after undergoing a five-hour surgery to remove his spleen and part of his pancreas.
* Â Peculiar: why are they not releasing his name?
Steve Eagle, 30, also suffered a punctured lung in the attack, which police and court officials describe as “completely random”.
Green, who moved to Banff with his wife Leanne last November, two months after they arrived in Canada, was in good spirits yesterday (June 25) in Foothills Hospital, where he was flown by STARS air ambulance after the incident.
“He’s doing well. His spirits are amazing and remarkable – it’s inspiring,” said Kyla Gaertner, manager of the Banff Avenue Lululemon store where both Eagle and his wife work.
“He says he’s just taking it as it comes… he’s joking about it a bit.”
Gaertner said the incident has been emotionally tough on the staff at the store, which includes a number of other Australian expats.
“We just love him so much – lots of the staff have gone to see him, taken him flowers. I just broke down when I heard his voice on the phone today.”
Eagle told her he was walking home from a friend’s house, where a small group of people had sat around a bonfire for a while, and was walking with his head down when he bumped into his attackers. She said he doesn’t remember much about the incident, just that words were exchanged and it happened very fast.
His wife had been in Australia when the attack happened, visiting a sister who was expecting her second child. Gaertner said she was in a remote part of the country and couldn’t be reached until Monday morning, but she was scheduled to fly home on Tuesday anyway. She arrived Wednesday morning and went straight to the hospital.
Meanwhile, two young Calgarians charged in connection with the attack were denied bail in Banff Provincial Court Monday morning (June 23).
Slman Akram, 22, is charged with attempted murder and uttering threats. Kassem Youssef, 25, is charged with aggravated assault.
Crown prosecutor Doug Simpson opposed bail for both, saying the assault was both serious and deliberate, even though there is no evidence or suggestion that the victim knew his attackers.
Neither of the accused has a criminal record, and both still live at home, Simpson said.
Akram is a second-year business student at SAIT, while Youssef works in construction, Simpson said.
Youssef, who like Akram appeared in court in handcuffs, kept his head bowed and shook it slowly from side to side as Simpson outlined his opposition to the bail request. Akram, who preceded Youssef in the prisoners’ dock, merely stared straight ahead.
Simpson said the incident occurred at about 12:25 a.m. Sunday on the corner of Wolf Street and Banff Avenue, in front of the Presbyterian Church. RCMP received a 911 call from passersby about a fight and stabbing in progress, and when police arrived bystanders pointed out three suspects fleeing. The three males were quickly apprehended and taken into custody, but one was released without charge.
A total of 13 witnesses saw the attack, the prosecutor said.
Simpson alleged that the altercation began with a verbal exchange that quickly escalated to a fistfight, during which Eagle was thrown to the ground. He further alleged that Youssef held him down while Akram stabbed him two or three times in the abdomen and buttocks.
When arrested, Akram had a knife in his right rear pants pocket that was covered with what appeared to be blood. He said Youssef had blood on his left sleeve.
The uttering threats charge against Akram is the result of an exchange with one of the witnesses, who he allegedly told, “he’d be next” when the witness tried to intervene, Simpson said.
Duty Counsel Will Willier argued that both young men came from “solid backgrounds” and were good candidates for release with strict conditions, a significant cash bail and a curfew.
About Akram, Willier said: “He is innocent until proven guilty.
“He knows he’s up against some serious charges, but there is still his side of the story to be heard.”
Willier said Youssef was trying to stop the fight “and prevent any further damage” when police arrived.
Judge John Reilly said he looked at the presumption of facts in denying bail, noting the number of witnesses and the knife that was found on Akram.
“It doesn’t allow for the conclusion that the likelihood of conviction is slight.”
“To maintain confidence in the administration of justice… (they) must be detained in the public interest.”
Both men will be back in court on July 14 to enter a plea.