A harrowing bus ride from Fort McMurray is over for two brothers who feared they were going to be victims of a knife-wielding man in a manner similar to a gruesome attack last month in Manitoba.
Josh and Andrew MacDougall were heading to Edmonton from Fort McMurray on a Greyhound Monday evening when a large man with tattoos boarded the bus. The MacDougalls were on the way home after working on the rigs.
“This guy got on staggering,” Josh MacDougall, 27, said.
“He was weird and had very erratic behaviour.”
The man approached the brothers, who were sitting in the back of the bus, and began talking to Andrew.
“He put his thumb on my brother’s eye,” Josh said, adding he told the man to take his hands off and he relented, but he continued berating them.
About 20 minutes later, after the man had visited the bathroom, he returned to the back where the brothers were seated, but this time took out a knife, Josh said.
The man sat between the two brothers and suddenly began stabbing the seat.
Andrew got up and told the bus driver what was happening. Despite the warning, the bus driver kept going.
“(The man) started calling us rats,” Josh said. “He said ‘how’d you like walking around without an eye.’ ”
For the next hour, the man harassed other passengers before returning to the back of the bus.
Twice during that time, the bus driver pulled over, telling the man he would have to get off the bus. When he refused, the driver kept going.
The man then threatened the two brothers with beheading, referring to the attack on Tim McLean Jr. outside Portage la Prairie, Man., July 30. McLean was stabbed and then beheaded by another Greyhound passenger.
“You’ll be on the news,” Josh recalled the man saying. “I’m going to cut your head off and throw it out the window.”
The bus finally came to a stop near Wandering River, about 45 minutes outside of Boyle on Highway 63, where it was met by an RCMP officer who was in the area, said Sgt. Ray Williams of the Boyle RCMP.
An officer got on the bus, pepper-sprayed the man, and took him into custody, Josh said.