Ottawa Rocked By Rookie Cop's Killing, Its First In 26 Years: Former RCMP Officer Charged

Mounties (female)
Image by Mrs Logic via Flickr

This is one weird story — a former RCMP officer charged with killing an Ottawa police officer.

The policeman, only three years on the force, was Eric Czapnik, a Polish immigrant, and the alleged assailant, Kevin Gregson, who is said to have stabbed him outside a hospital at 4:30 a.m., is a former officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, formerly working in Regina, Saskatchewan. The young officer was ambushed and stabbed, with no apparent motive, while sitting in his police vehicle.

Ottawa, a normally calm and placid city, Canada’s capital, where people skate to work along the Rideau Canal, is stunned by its first cop-killing since 1983.

Reports The Globe and Mail:

The slaying sent shock waves through the 1,800-plus uniformed and civilian members of the Ottawa Police Service, which had not lost an officer in the line of duty in more than a quarter-century.

Constable Czapnik was a Poland-born immigrant and father who had been with the force for just three years.

He was stabbed in the neck, a police source said.

The two officers had apparently never met before and no motive in the slaying was immediately apparent.

Mr. Gregson was a Saskatchewan-based RCMP officer who pleaded guilty to uttering a death threat and pulling a knife on a Mormon church official in Regina in 2006, court records show.

He received a conditional discharge after pleading guilty in a Regina court.

Mr. Gencher described his client as “associated with the RCMP.”

He was expected to appear at Ottawa’s downtown Elgin Street courthouse later Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

“The officer was at the hospital on an unrelated call when the incident occurred,” said Constable Alain Boucher.

I Know You Want to Be Canadian (Universal Health Care, Eh?)

Image by Daniel Paquet via Flickr

Check out this sweet, funny video, two faux Mounties singing and dancing the virtues and pleasures of being Canadian — from nos deux langues officielles to canoes, moose and free government-run health care.

Yeah, that alien notion that utterly terrifies so many Americans.

As the haters trash universal healthcare, one of Canada’s pride and joys, I hope you enjoy this 2:29 minutes of fun from the country that invented two less-controversial things utterly essential every day to millions of Americans — modern zippers (1913) and insulin (1921-22), first isolated at my alma mater, the University of Toronto.