Edmonton man who intervened in attack on London Drugs clerk receives police commission award

Steve Lount will always remember the December night when a man at a west–end London Drugs store held a clerk against her will with a pair of scissors.

He remembers the “sickening” sound of the man stabbing the clerk and how he sprung into action, preventing the woman from getting injured further — or killed.

Now Lount and three other men will be recognized by the Edmonton Police Commission Friday for their actions on that Dec. 30 night last year.

Clerk held against her will

Lount was perusing the aisles of London Drugs at about 9 p.m. that night when a frantic customer told him about a man causing trouble.

He followed the customer to the returns counter, where he saw a five-foot tall woman speaking to a six-foot, 200–pound man.

The suspect was in a “drug-induced psychosis” and claimed imaginary people were trying to hurt him, Edmonton police said in a news release on Thursday.

The man grabbed the clerk, using her as a shield between himself and his “attackers,” police said. He put a cord around her neck and scissors to her throat, according to police.

Lount took this photo after the man was arrested. (Steve Lount)

That’s when Lount, along with store employees and other customers, tried to de-escalate the situation by talking to the man. But rationalizing with the man was impossible, so Lount said he asked one of the shoppers to bring him a weapon.

“He brought me a little wooden cutting board, which wasn’t too functional against a blade,” he recalled.

Lount went to the front of the store and grabbed a shovel off the rack.

He tried to use the shovel to distract the man, hoping he’d let the clerk go. Instead, the man became more agitated, prompting everyone to back away and wait for police to arrive, said Lount.

“The minute we did, he turned around and started stabbing her,” he said, adding she was stabbed about four or five times.

The sudden violence prompted Lount to put his makeshift weapon to use.

“With everything I had, I wound up that shovel and smashed him on the head with the edge of the blade,” he said.

The force of the blow broke the heavy plastic blade off the handle.

“But it didn’t even hurt him,” Lount said. 

He hit the suspect several times with the shovel handle, allowing the clerk to escape. He said he struck the man across the temple, but he wasn’t phased.

Instead, he started swinging the scissors at Lount, who tripped on a magazine rack and fell backwards.

Citizen award recipients

Three other people tackled the man to the ground after Lount fell. They managed to wrestle the scissors away from the man, police said.

Police arrived moments later and arrested the man. They credit those who intervened with potentially saving the clerk’s life.

Lount, Aaron Breitkreutz, Trevor Nathan and Curtis Pyck are part of the group that will be recognized for their actions at the 2018 Edmonton Police Commission Citizen Awards.

The awards are given to people who stopped a crime in progress or helped police apprehend an offender.

Recipients will be honoured Friday evening at a ceremony at the Edmonton Expo Centre.

Search your Cities weather below


Edmonton Alberta News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada.xml” limit=”20″]

Canadian News Headlines

[su_feed url=”http://rss.cbc.ca/lineup/canada.xml” limit=”20″]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *