Volume 93, Issue 86

Tuesday, March 14, 2000


Grad students pass on bus

Arbitrator called to end Cape Breton strike

Students spooked by knife-wielding stranger

SuperBuild project starts soon

Pope makes history with apology for sins

No crime too small for the UPD



Caught on campus

Students spooked by knife-wielding stranger

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

A London was charged by police last week for threatening a group of Western students with a knife just outside campus.

Fifty-seven year-old Rade Rakovic of Sarnia Road, has been charged with possession of a weapon for a prohibitive purpose, said Const. Tracey Frizell of the London Police.

The charge was based on an event which occurred on a driveway to a house on Sarnia Road last Wednesday at approximately 10:30 p.m., she said.

Four students were in a car returning from church when they stopped to drop off two students on their way home. The accused walked up beside the car and asked the driver, fourth-year kinesiology student Mike Alexander, to roll down the driver's side window.

Alexander said when he refused, Rakovic, who was wearing slippers and a black trench coat, allegedly pulled out an approximately foot-long kitchen knife and made threatening gestures towards him.

"We were freaking. We were like, 'What the hell is going on,'" Alexander said, adding Rakovic then allegedly tried to slash the tires. "If I had pulled down that window, I would have been stabbed – I felt like we were in a Scooby Doo episode."

Alexander said he reversed into the busy street and proceeded to the plaza at the corner of Western and Sarnia Roads, where he called the police.

Frizell said the police apprehended Rakovic who was still in the area and removed a knife from his possession. "Let's just say he wasn't really all there," Frizell said, adding police determined Rakovic was not intoxicated. According to police, Rakovic said he was just trying to fight crime.

Frizell said she could not comment if the accused had a criminal record but said he was not detained. "I would hate to say he is not a threat," she said, but added the police did not have reason to hold him in custody.

Rakovic, who could not be reached for comment, is scheduled to appear in court April 6 for his plea hearing. If convicted of the crime, he could receive a fine or a suspended sentence.

Shawna Smith, supervisor at the Subway sandwich shop on Sarnia Road, said having an act of this nature occur so close to staff and customers was a concern. "Knowing that this happened so close is scary," she said.

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