A blood-stained window of an Edmonton Transit System bus parked at the Millwoods Transit Centre on Wednesday September 26, 2018. An Edmonton Transit System bus driver was hospitalized after he was stabbed thirteen times by a youth at the Millwoods Transit Centre early Wednesday morning.
Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK
A teenage boy who pleaded guilty to the near-fatal stabbing of an Edmonton bus driver last fall was handed a 20-month sentence during a tumultuous youth court hearing Friday.“I’m truly sorry for what I did,” the youth said from the prisoner dock, wearing glasses and a blue correctional service sweatsuit.The youth added he felt “shameful” about what he had done.The 15-year-old — who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act — pleaded guilty to eight offences earlier this year, including aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon.He was initially charged with attempted murder after the September 2018 attack aboard a city bus parked at the Mill Woods Transit Centre.Mike Kostelny, the bus driver, attended Friday’s court appearance in his Edmonton Transit System uniform. He resumed work on April 15, and said he has driven the same bus on which he nearly lost his life seven months ago.Kostelny was nearing the end of a night shift on Sept. 26, 2018, when he encountered the youth near 86 Street and Roper Road. Kostelny said the boy — who was breathing heavily and checking over his shoulder as though he were being chased — jumped in front of his bus and asked to be let on.As the bus pulled into the Mill Woods Transit Centre, the youth asked Kostelny to give him a ride to his grandfather’s house. Kostelny was contacting transit control to have ETS officers transport the youth when the boy suddenly became “extremely agitated.”
Ed Kaiser Ed Kaiser /
An agreed statement of facts states the youth pulled a knife, approached Kostelny and began to stab at his upper body. Kostelny was “stuck” in the driver’s seat and unable to undo his seatbelt, the court record states.In a victim impact statement, Kostelny told court he still has “deep and disturbing” dreams about the incident. He said he lost a half-litre of blood, and was told that the knife nearly hit an artery in his leg. In all, he suffered 13 stab wounds. Kostelny pegged his lost earnings at over $13,000.Eventually, Kostelny was able to free himself from the seat belt, stumble off the bus and lock himself in an employee washroom, where he called police.Officers arrived just before 4 a.m. and arrested the youth, who was carrying a four-inch flip knife in his pocket. The teen had tried to drive away with the bus but only made it a few feet.The agreed facts also detail a series of violent incidents involving the youth in the months before the bus attack.In March 2017, police were called after he made death threats against a girl and a local school. In May 2018, the youth pulled a screwdriver on two men and bit the neck of a bystander who tried to intervene. On Sept. 18, 2018, a resident phoned police when the teen was found throwing rocks at their apartment building. Just two days before the attack, the youth bear-sprayed a man who was helping his grandfather move.The youth’s grandfather told reporters they had pleaded with the government to intervene prior to the bus attack. Alberta’s Children’s Services ministry said it has launched a review of the boy’s case.Kostelny told Postmedia last month that he had no ill will toward the youth, but said he was “super concerned if he’s released too early without proper care.”The youth’s mother, who also cannot be identified, attended the hearing and had to be led out of the courtroom after two outbursts. She was in tears throughout, reaching out toward her son and talking to him during breaks.Crown prosecutor Kevin Mott and defence lawyer Karen McGowan presented a joint sentencing submission of 20 months, which Judge Aran Veylan accepted. The youth will serve two-thirds of the sentence in custody, with the remainder to be served in the community. With time already served in custody, the youth has 187 days left in the jail portion of his sentence.The maximum youth sentence for aggravated assault is two years, Mott added.Veylan said based on three reports prepared for the court, the youth had an “extremely chaotic” childhood. He was exposed to marijuana around age seven, first tried methamphetamine at age 13 and has a history of drug-induced psychosis. Court heard his parents separated when he was a child and that there was violence in the home when he was growing up. He has a low IQ and has a “childlike” obsession with gangs “bordering on infatuation.” Veylan called the case “tragic.”“There is more than one victim in the room,” he firstname.lastname@example.org/jonnywakefield