Pol­ish mayor stabbed at fundraiser, badly wounded

Las Vegas Review-Journal - - WORLD - By Vanessa Gera The As­so­ci­ated Press

WAR­SAW, Poland — A con­victed crim­i­nal with a knife rushed on to the stage dur­ing the fi­nale of a char­ity event Sun­day night and stabbed a Pol­ish mayor in the heart and ab­domen be­fore shout­ing that he did it for po­lit­i­cal re­venge, in an at­tack that left doc­tors fight­ing to save the politi­cian’s life.

Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamow­icz grabbed his belly and col­lapsed in front of the au­di­ence at the “Lights to Heaven” fundraiser or­ga­nized by the Great Orches­tra of Christ­mas Char­ity, the coun­try’s most im­por­tant char­ity.

Doc­tors trans­ported him to Med­i­cal Univer­sity of Gdansk, where he un­der­went five hours of surgery, said Dr. To­masz Ste­fa­niak, one of the doc­tors treat­ing Adamow­icz.

Al­most seven hours af­ter the as­sault, Ste­fa­niak told re­porters early Mon­day that “the pa­tient is alive,” trig­ger­ing ap­plause, but added that the mayor re­mained “in a very se­ri­ous con­di­tion.”

“The next hours will de­cide ev­ery­thing,” Ste­fa­niak said, ap­peal­ing for thoughts and prayers for the mayor.

Pol­ish me­dia re­ported that a num­ber of po­lit­i­cal of­fi­cials and Gdansk Arch­bishop Sla­woj Leszek Glod went to the hospi­tal dur­ing the op­er­a­tion.

Af­ter the knife at­tack, the as­sailant shouted from the stage that he had been wrongly im­pris­oned un­der a pre­vi­ous na­tional gov­ern­ment led by Civic Plat­form, a party to which the mayor for­merly be­longed.

Po­lice said the sus­pect was a 27-year-old with a crim­i­nal record and had car­ried out bank rob­beries. A po­lice spokesman, Mar­iusz Ciarka, said the at­tacker ap­peared to have men­tal prob­lems. He was ar­rested and is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk, a for­mer Pol­ish prime min­is­ter who co-founded Civil Plat­form and is from Gdansk, wrote on Twit­ter: “Let’s all pray for Mayor Adamow­icz. Pawel, we are with you.”

Adamow­icz, 53, was part of the demo­cratic op­po­si­tion born in that city un­der the lead­er­ship of Lech Walesa dur­ing the 1980s.

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