Off-duty nurse helps save stabbing victim

2013-06-19T15:31:00Z 2013-06-20T10:44:04Z Off-duty nurse helps save stabbing victimDiane Poulton Times Correspondent
June 19, 2013 3:31 pm  • 

LOWELL | An off-duty emergency room nurse who administered CPR to a 19-year-old Lowell stabbing victim until paramedics arrived may have saved his life, police said.

The victim, who was stabbed multiple times in the back about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, was found near the Smart Stop Gas Station at Clark and Jefferson streets.

He also was treated at the scene by Tri-Creek Emergency Medical Services paramedics and Lowell volunteer firefighters, Detective Cpl. James Woestman said.

Woestman said the victim had no pulse when Susan Vasko, a Lowell resident and ER nurse who works at multiple hospitals, found him.

Woestman said the last update he received listed the victim in critical condition with surgery scheduled Tuesday at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point.

Woestman said Kevin Michael Crawford, 41, of DeMotte, who was arrested at the scene, confessed to the stabbing. Crawford was charged Tuesday with aggravated battery and battery by means of a deadly weapon.

According to court documents, Vasko was at the gas station when a red pickup truck sped eastbound on Jefferson Street with a man in the truck’s bed holding onto a ladder rack.

A short time later, Crawford ran to the station asking if someone would call 911.

Vasko told police she drove her car to the truck, where she saw the victim on the ground behind a dumpster.

Vasko flipped him on his back and immediately began CPR, she said.

Vasko told police Crawford said to her, “He wouldn’t let go of my (obscenity) truck, what would you do?”

Crawford, who was in his underwear covered in the victim’s blood, told police he pulled his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado into a female passenger’s driveway when the victim climbed onto it.

Crawford told police he drove around and yelled at the victim to get off the truck, finally stopping and pulling out his knife “because the best defense is a good offense.”

Crawford approached the victim, blocked his punch and stabbed him between two and 10 times, court records indicate.

Crawford allegedly told police this was not his first attempted murder. His female passenger also said Crawford is not taking his medication and was involved in a similar incident in the past.

If convicted, Crawford faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

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