Man who went ‘psycho mode’ in 2011 stabbing at Coquitlam bus stop gets 11 years in prison

A man who stabbed a 20-year-old stranger at a Coquitlam bus loop in 2011 has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for the near-fatal attack, as well as a string of other offences.

Tyrel William Scott, 41, had been sitting next to the victim, Cody Cardiff, on a bus that stopped at Coquitlam Central Station in the early hours of Dec. 15, 2011. Scott followed Cardiff off the bus and stabbed him twice, including once in the heart.

“The attack was entirely unprovoked and apparently without any motive,” Provincial Court Judge Robin McQuillan said in his decision posted last week, noting the two men did not know each other.

Cardiff, who was returning home from visiting a friend in Surrey at the time, was found by police bleeding on the ground. He was initially not expected to survive his injuries, which caused him to go into cardiac arrest that night.

He also suffered a collapsed lung while in hospital, where he remained until he was finally discharged on Christmas Eve.

Police didn’t release images and video of a suspect until February 2012. Tips from the public identified Scott, but even then, police did not have enough evidence for charges.

Scott ended up confessing to the attack during an undercover police operation in June 2017. That operation also saw Scott agree to sell firearms to an undercover officer, which led to additional charges.

He also faced fentanyl trafficking charges stemming from an encounter with police in September 2016, and a charge of violating a lifetime weapons ban imposed after a 2006 robbery conviction.

Crown was seeking a sentence of 13 years in prison, while defence argued for seven years.

McQuillan said Scott will serve 7.5 years in prison due to previous jail time. He’s also not allowed to have any contact with Cardiff.

‘Psycho mode’

In a psychiatric report detailed in McQuillan’s sentencing decision, Scott blames the stabbing on his use of methamphetamine.

According to him, he had been using at the time when he saw a woman give a “dirty look” in Cardiff’s direction which made him go into “psycho mode.”

“He said that after the attack, he was crying and could not understand how he could do such a thing to someone whom he did not even know,” McQuillan wrote.

Scott claimed he attempted to kill himself by overdosing on fentanyl three different times roughly five years after the attack, but was revived each time.

As for the firearms offences, Scott said he needed money to support his fentanyl addiction. McQuillan noted Scott has been using various drugs since he was 15, and has been selling drugs to support his addiction since 2004.

The judge also noted Scott’s extensive criminal history, his troubled upbringing including allegations of sexual assault, and expressions of remorse in making his sentencing decision.

Fear of crowds

McQuillan also took note of Cardiff’s impact statement, which described the physical and emotional toll the attack had on him.

“Because of the random attack on him, Mr. Cardiff is unable to trust people or to go out in public where there is a large group of strangers, as he panics and goes into fight or flight mode,” the judge wrote.

Cardiff said he went into a depression and experimented with drugs after the attack. He’s also afraid to go onto public transit, forcing him to “bear an additional financial burden” of financing, fueling and insuring a vehicle.

Further, Cardiff’s scars from his knife wounds and incisions made for life support tubes while in hospital have impacted his self-image and mental health. He also has nerve pain and continues to recover from a broken sternum he sustained as paramedics performed CPR on him.

“The assault on Mr. Cardiff was unquestionably horrific,” McQuillan wrote. “It was entirely unprovoked and Mr. Cardiff will no doubt experience its consequences for the rest of his life.”

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