Man accused in Edmonton attack to have psychiatric assessments
A man facing several counts of attempted murder after a police officer was hit with a car and stabbed by an assailant is to face two psychiatric assessments.
The reviews are to determine Abdulahi Hasan Sharif’s mental state at the time of the attack and as he faces trial, his lawyer said on Monday as his client appeared in an Edmonton court via video link.
“The information is extremely preliminary at this moment,” Karanpal Aujla said. “However, from the information I’ve been told and review of the initial disclosure, it appears to me that there certainly may be issues that pertain to mental health.”
Mr. Sharif was charged after a speeding car rammed through a barrier at a Canadian Football League game in Edmonton on Sept. 30 and sent an officer flying five metres through the air. The driver got out, pulled out a large knife and began stabbing Constable Mike Chernyk.
Four pedestrians were hit and injured hours later by the driver of a cube van speeding away from police cars in downtown Edmonton.
Constable Chernyk suffered stab wounds to the face and the head. He has returned to work and was honoured at CFL and National Hockey League games in the city. The other attack victims are recovering from their injuries. A judge agreed with Mr. Sharif’s lawyer that initial evidence suggests the accused’s mental health needs to be assessed.
Mr. Aujla said evidence comes from initial disclosure and a conversation with someone who knows Mr. Sharif. Mr. Aujla has met with his client and said he appears “like a normal guy.” No bail application will be made until the assessments are complete, the lawyer said.