Thursday, June 21, 2007

‘Weekend of knives’ claims cabbie

From the Kingston This Week website

Lynn Rees Lambert
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Local News
- Call it bloody Sunday.

Kingston Police coped with one of the most violent weekends in recent memory with the murder of a Kingston cab driver, a stabbing inside a shopping mall and a knife-point holdup at a downtown drugstore June 17.

“It was the weekend of the knives,” says Sgt. Bill Kennedy, the lead investigator into the murder of 50-year-old David Krick, who was found stabbed on a mid-city street early Sunday morning.

It was the city’s first homicide of the year.

Kennedy says he cannot ever recall a three-in-one-day crime spree and local cabbies say this is the first time one of their own has been murdered.

The series of unrelated events claimed the life of a veteran Amey’s driver who was mortally wounded and left to die on a Durham Street sidewalk Sunday at about 6:45 a.m.

The murder has plunged the cab company, with about 170 full and part-time drivers, into shock, says Amey’s Taxi owner Mark Greenwood.

“The oldtimers tell me they’ve never lost a cabbie like this.”

Greenwood described Krick as a mild-mannered man who lived with his mother and sister on York Street.

Krick had been driving since he was 19, says Greenwood, describing him as “a good guy. The whole cab industry is in shock, disbelief.”

Police have not determined if the victim was stabbed while in the Impala or outside.

A weapon has not been found.

“The whole thing happened within minutes,” Greenwood explains, “less than about six minutes from the time Dave hit the silent alarm to when other drivers converged.”

Global Positioning System devices were installed last November in all cabs, says the owner.

“When he hit the alarm, our dispatcher was able to track the car in real time.” And, he says, “since there are more taxis out there than police cars, our cabs zoomed in.”

Fellow cabbies found Krick, bleeding on the ground on Durham Street, near Princess and Victoria streets.

His car had been stolen. Police arrived seconds later.

Krick was taken to Kingston General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, other police officers were guided by Amey’s dispatcher Ken Osborn, who informed police “where the car was, where it was turning, idling and where it stopped,” explains Greenwood.

Police tracked the stolen vehicle to Van Order Drive where they saw a suspect abandon the car and run into an apartment complex to allude police.

“Ken’s actions are to be commended,” says Greenwood, “as are the actions of all our drivers who responded.”

The incident has severely shaken the employees.

“This was horrific,” Greenwood says of the scene Krick’s fellow cabbies found.

Grief counsellors are going into the office Wednesday for assistance, he adds.

Sgt. Kennedy says the investigation has not revealed a motive for the slaying. A few tips have come in but police have not laid any charges.

“It was quite early Sunday morning,” he says, meaning the streets were quiet and few witnesses were out.

Police have not released a detailed description of the suspect who fled from the stolen cab. They describe him only as a young white male, who is tall and slim.

Police ask that anyone with information about the crime to call the station at 613 549-4660 or call Crime Stoppers at 613 634-8477.

At Amey’s Taxi, “our efforts are toward supporting the family,” says Greenwood. “We are taking donations for Mrs. Krick, as Dave helped his mother.”

Drugstore clerk held at knifepoint

The violence continued the same day when a Shoppers Drug Mart employee was held up at knifepoint and held hostage in a back room.

The incident began at 11:30 a.m., June 17, at the drug store at 136 Princess St. when a woman walked an employee at knifepoint to a safe in a back room. The employee opened the safe and the accused rummaged through the contents. The robbery was interrupted by another employee.

The accused grabbed a quantity of pills and fled. Staff called 911. Patrol officers found the suspect at Queen and Bagot streets where she had just swallowed a quantity of unknown pills.

Officers recovered the knife used in the incident and two bottles of pills. The accused was taken to KGH where she was treated and released back to police custody.

A 42-year-old woman was charged with robbery, forcible confinement, possession of a dangerous weapon, assault with a weapon, and two counts of breach of undertaking.

Man stabbed at mall

Later that day, at about 3:45 p.m., a verbal exchange between two men inside the Cataraqui Town Centre led to a stabbing.

Police say the suspect, armed with a six-inch steak knife, stabbed the victim near the Tim Hortons shop. The victim walked away from the mall bleeding from the abdomen while the accused wandered through the mall “bragging and laughing that he had just stabbed someone,” according to police.

Regional ambulance was called to the scene. The victim’s injuries were not life threatening.

The accused was quickly located.

A 22-year-old Kingston man was charged with assault with a weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and two counts of breach of probation.

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