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Police apprehend man with seven-inch knife held to a City bus driver

Police Notebook:

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:23 am

The above suspects were spotted on surveillance cameras at Spy City in Calgary, a business that sells surveillance equipment. The men are suspected of stealing a truck and construction supplies from Airdrie.
The above suspects were spotted on surveillance cameras at Spy City in Calgary, a business that sells surveillance equipment. The men are suspected of stealing a truck and construction supplies from Airdrie.
Airdrie RCMP/For Rocky View Publishing

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On July 11 at 5:13 p.m., Airdrie RCMP received a call, of a man yielding a knife on an Airdrie Transit bus on Veteran’s Blvd. NW.

According to the RCMP, the man was holding a seven-inch-long serrated knife to the driver and demanding the bus continue on without stopping.

John James Tapak, 21, of no fixed address, was arrested without incident on the bus and charged with Forcible Confinement, Assault with a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for Dangerous Purpose on July 11.

The bus driver was able to remain calm and advise his dispatcher that he was being threatened with a knife.

Airdrie RCMP and the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Services (ITU) attended and stopped the bus on Veterans Boulevard.

According to RCMP, the man surrendered to police, and was taken into custody without further incident. No one was injured during the event.

“The driver is fine, he remained calm and followed the protocols learned and practiced in safety training including using his radio to call in a code that alerted transit dispatch to contact the police and direct them to the bus location,” said Lynda Phelan, team leader of communications with the City of Airdrie.

“The buses are also equipped with a system that changes the external display board to messaging that indicates help is required.”

This was not the first offense for Tapak, RCMP also charged him with Assault Causing Bodily Harm for violently forcing another man into a brick wall in Nose Creek Park in the early hours of June 29.

The injured man remains in a Calgary area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening head injuries.

Tapak is currently in custody pending a bail hearing. The date for the hearing was not known as of press time.

Motorcycle crash

On July 13 at 9:30 p.m., officers with the Airdrie ITU were called to a serious motorcycle collision in the southbound lanes of Highway 2, about five km north of the Highway 72 overpass near Crossfield.

According to RCMP, the single-vehicle collision involved a 2000 Honda CBR sport motorcycle.

The driver, a 57-year-old man from British Columbia, lost control of the motorcycle and slammed into the cable-barrier that divides the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway.

It was unknown as of press time the speed of the motorcycle at the time of the crash.

The driver sustained serious injuries in the collision and was airlifted to a hospital in Calgary.

According to RCMP the cause of the collision remains under investigation, and any witnesses to the crash are asked to contact the Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit at 403-945-7200.

Walmart theft

A pair of thieves stole more than $2,000 of merchandise from Airdrie Walmart on June 28.

Video surveillance shows the pair entering the store at approximately 11 p.m. The suspects entered a changing room carrying a number of items along with a red duffel bag. They are seen on CCTV footage leaving the change room and then the store with just the duffel bag.

Staff later found packaging in the change room that had been discarded from items including a Blackberry, wireless speakers and a video game controller, as well as from clothing and kitchen accessories. The total value of the merchandise taken is $2,025.

The woman is described as Caucasian in her late teens to early 20s, 5’4” to 5’8” tall with a slender build. She was wearing a white head scarf, black jacket and pants, beige boots and was carrying a large pink purse.

Her male accomplice is also Caucasian, late teens to early 20s, 5’8” to six-feet tall with a medium build. He was wearing a black hoodie with a white revolver design on the front, jeans, dark shoes and a dark baseball cap.

Cst. Jason Curtis said he was hesitant to release the CCTV photos in this case because they are not great quality. However, he is always hopeful someone will recognize the individuals and come forward with information.

See photo at

Stolen truck

An Airdrie man returning home on June 30 from being away over the weekend discovered his work truck had been stolen from his home in King’s Heights.

The white 2005 Ford F250 truck, along with a number of construction supplies the man used for his business, were stolen from outside his home.

According to Curtis, the thieves later abandoned the truck in Meadowbrook. Recovered surveillance photos from Spy City in Calgary show two suspects police believe to be responsible for this crime. RCMP was led to the Calgary business after finding a receipt in the truck once it had been recovered and learning from the owner that he had never been there.

The first man is described as being in his early 20s, with a pale complexion. He’s approximately 5’6” tall with an average build. The second suspect is in his late 20s, with a medium to dark complexion. He has a slender build and is approximately 5’8” tall.


Sometime over the weekend of July 11 to 13, two homes under construction in Airdrie’s Reunion neighbourhood were broken into and vandalized.

Unknown suspects entered the residences by damaging garage doors. Once inside, the suspects damaged carpet and knocked holes in drywall. Overall damage is estimated at $2,000.

The Airdrie RCMP is asking anyone with any information to contact them.

If anyone has any information on these incidents, contact the Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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