SUDBURY - The Good Samaritan who helped save the lives of a mother and her nine-month-old baby after a vicious and apparently random knife attack June 3, says he didn't think, he just acted when he saw the man attacking the woman and infant outside the Michaels store on Marcus Drive in New Sudbury on June 3.
Brent Holder said he was sitting in his truck in the parking lot on Marcus Drive. He was checking his emails on his cellphone when he heard the horrific screams coming from the woman who had been stabbed in the neck.
"I just saw the assailant swinging his arms," Holder said. "Then he started punching into a baby stroller.
"A white light went off in my head."
Holder, a metal salesman with ASA Alloys in Sudbury, jumped out of his truck and ran straight at the assailant who had a knife in his hand. You can watch Holder describe the attack below.
Holder locked eyes with him and the man stopped what he was doing and started to back up. Holder followed him about 30 feet away from the initial scene.
The man then took out a second knife. The man put both blades against his own neck and slashed his throat, Holder said.
After cutting his own throat, the assailant dropped to his knees and fell face first onto the asphalt.
Holder took the knives away, held the man down and called 911.
"I assumed he wasn't getting back up, but he did get back up and grabbed for the knives in my hand," the 53-year-old said.
"I knocked him off balance which knocked him back to the ground and just held him there until the police showed up to cuff him and take him away."
While Holder was with the assailant, he saw more Good Samaritans tending to the mother and the baby.
The 35-year-old mother was taken to hospital and was in critical condition at the time of the incident but her health condition has now been upgraded to stable condition. Her nine-month-old infant was not stabbed, but sustained multiple bruises after being struck repeatedly during the attack. The baby is safe and being cared for by family members.
Greater Sudbury Police Service arrested and charged Alexander Stavropoulos, 25, with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and one count of breaching probation.
Stavropoulos is known to police. He pleaded guilty to one count of carrying a weapon to commit an offence after an incident at the downtown transit terminal in April 2018 when he charged at police, screaming and wielding two knives, forcing police to fire their weapons to stop him. His lawyer said it was an attempt at suicide, in hopes that police would shoot and kill him.
"I'm happy that it worked out the way it did."
"The young children are going to have a mom to grow up...that's all that matters."
While speaking with Sudbury.com, several employees who work in stores along Marcus Drive came out to shake Holder's hand, calling him a hero.
Like any true hero, he downplayed his own role and said he did what anyone else would have done.
- Sudbury.com/Laurentian Media