Mayor at­tacked, se­ri­ously in­jured

Gdansk of­fi­cial stabbed by as­sailant on stage dur­ing char­ity event

The Dallas Morning News - - News - By VANESSA GERA

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

Gdan sk Mayor Pawel Adamow­icz grabbed his stom­ach and col­lapsed in front of the au­di­ence dur­ing the “Lights to Heaven” fundraiser or­ga­nized by the Great Orches­tra of Christ­mas Char­ity, Poland’s largest non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda said he was in­formed that “doc­tors suc­ceeded in re­an­i­mat­ing the heart of the se­ri­ously in­jured Mayor Pawel Adamow­icz and there is hope, but his con­di­tion is very dif­fi­cult.”

Pol­ish broad­caster TVN said 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. The sus­pected at­tacker was ar­rested.

Po­lice said the sus­pect was a 27­year­old with a crim­i­nal record and had car­ried out bank rob­beries. A po­lice spokesman, Mar­iusz Ciarka, said the at­tacker gained ac­cess to the area with a me­dia badge.

Ra­dio Gdansk said Adamow­icz was stabbed in the area of his heart, but did not cite its source, while Rzecz­pospolita de­scribed the mayor’s con­di­tion as “crit­i­cal,” cit­ing uniden­ti­fied sources. A spokesman for the hospi­tal called his con­di­tion “very se­ri­ous.”

Adamow­icz has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, since 1998.

He has been a pro­gres­sive voice, sup­port­ing LGBT rights and tol­er­ance for mi­nori­ties. He marched in last year’s gay pride pa­rade, a rare ac­tion for a mayor in Poland.

He also showed sol­i­dar­ity with the Jewish com­mu­nity when the city’s syn­a­gogue had its win­dows bro­ken last year, strongly de­nounc­ing the van­dal­ism.

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