DELTA, B.C. – An off-duty British Columbia police officer who was stabbed several times in the stomach while picking up his children outside an elementary school is being called a hero by his police chief.
“I want to acknowledge the quick thinking and the bravery of acting Sgt. (John) Jasmins,” Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord told a news conference Thursday.
He said Jasmins intervened in a domestic dispute by tackling a man who is also accused of stabbing his wife just as children were being released from school on Wednesday.
“John’s thought was this was an immediate circumstance that needed action and as a result he jumped in and did a barrel tackle of this gentleman while he was in the process of using the knife,” Dubord said.
He said Jasmins’ children saw their father in an altercation outside Immaculate Conception elementary school and ran to tell adults who called 911 before police responded in just over a minute.
Dubord said 49-year-old Manoj George, whose marriage was dissolving, has been charged with two counts each of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
“Police knew of the circumstance but certainly had never seen any violence that had occurred,” Dubord said.
George’s 41-year-old wife, who was picking up one child at the school, remains in hospital in serious condition.
“Your heart does take a quick skip,” Dubord said of hearing about the officer’s situation while sitting in his office and wondering whether any kids were involved. “We had another victim in this case and I certainly don’t want to minimize that,” he said.
Dubord said he visited Jasmins in hospital Wednesday evening and the officer wanted to thank staff and parents who leapt into action by calling 911, providing first aid to him and the injured woman and looking after students.
“I also want to express gratitude to the Surrey RCMP and my amazing wife and children who were so brave and had the awareness and composure to run to the nearest adult and direct them to call 911,” Jasmins said in the statement.
Jasmins underwent surgery on Wednesday night, and the chief said the officer is on the road to a full recovery.
The officer is in charge of community policing in Delta, south of Vancouver, and has been a police officer for over 13 years.
The school was closed Thursday and police will be there on Friday with their trauma dog, Dubord said.
The principal of elementary school said counselling would also be made available for students on Friday.