By ALAN SHACKLETON
A 27-year-old man says he’s lucky to be alive after being stabbed last Thursday as the opening night of the Beaches International Jazz Festival’s Streetfest was wrapping up on Queen Street East.
Dylan Cann, a longtime Beach area resident, was walking his eight-week old puppy that he is fostering on Queen Street just east of Hammersmith Avenue at approximately 11 p.m. on July 25, when he was approached by a young man asking him questions about the dog.
“I was doing the jazz festival thing and taking the dog out to get it used to loud noises and sounds so it can be adopted,” Cann said in an interview with Beach Metro News.
“He came up to me and started asking me about the dog and how old it was and I told him it was eight weeks old, and then he said the dog was too young to be out and it was too loud.”
Cann disagreed, ended the conversation and started to walk away.
“He didn’t like that, and he started stabbing me.”
Cann was stabbed four times in the stomach and one of the wounds was two millimetres from his heart.
He said that the young man didn’t seem to have anything to do with being a jazz festival fan or to have any connection with the large group of teens who normally gather in the Queen and Hammersmith area during Streetfest.
“He wasn’t down there for the jazz festival. He was just looking for trouble,” Cann said of the young man who stabbed him.
Cann estimated his attacker was about 17 years old.
“He was not there with anyone. He already had the knife in his hand.”
Cann said that after the stabbing, the attacker stood looking at him “with a big smile on his face.”
He said some people on social media have questioned his account of the attack and implied that he must have done something to provoke his attacker.
Cann told Beach Metro News that his response is that indeed there are random attacks in the city and elsewhere against innocent people, citing the Yonge Street van attack driver who killed 10 people in April of 2018 as an example.
“People do do this kind of thing,” he said.
Though bleeding heavily, Cann was able to make his way two blocks west to a fire truck parked at Hambly Avenue for help.
“I’m lucky that truck was there because at the rate I was bleeding…I was trying to keep pressure on it but it was spewing out.”
Fortunately, firefighters were able to begin first aid on Cann prior to his being taken to hospital.
He was released from hospital on Monday, July 29, and is now in the process of healing.
He said the recovery is going slowly, and he has a lot of pain especially when standing up.
“I’m waiting to heal up now and am OK walking around slowly, but getting out of bed or something like that – it’s like I’m being stabbed again.”
To help Cann while he recovers from his injuries, a Go Fund Me page has been set up by community members at https://www.gofundme.com/the-beaches-helper-now-needs-our-help
While Cann said he is certain his attacker had nothing to do with the young people who hang out at Hammersmith and Queen during Streetfest, he was surprised at the lack of emergency personnel at the intersection that night given its history as a gathering spot over the years for area teens.
“Usually in past years there’s a fire truck right there and police, but there wasn’t one cop there on Thursday and that was surprising to me,” he said.
If he had not been able to get first aid from the firefighters when he did, Cann said the result could have been much more serious.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Cann said. “The trauma surgeon said as soon as I left the hospital I should go out and buy a lottery ticket.”
Cann’s attacker is described as a white male, approximately five-feet, eight-inches tall, wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and black shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 55 Division at 416-808-5500, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477 or online at https://www.222tips.com