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'It's just unheard of': Saskatoon man stabbed with a syringe at pub


A Saskatoon man is warning people to be on guard after he was stabbed with a syringe while at a pub Tuesday morning.

Gary Barr says he was sitting by himself at Yanz Place, playing with his phone and not paying attention to anybody else. He said all of a sudden he saw a tall person walk behind him and stabbed him with a syringe.

"I didn't know it was a syringe at first, I didn't see him coming or anything. I just thought maybe it felt hot or like a little Taser or something like that," Barr said in an interview Saturday.

By the time Barr realized what had happened, he saw the man moving behind him.

“He scooted out the door, he yelled back at me, ‘Get yourself tested!’” he said.

Abin Kuriakose was the bartender working Tuesday morning when the attack happened. He was checking in with a coworker at Yanz when he heard screams in the bar.

After calling police, he quickly checked surveillance video inside the bar that showed exactly what happened. Barr decided to post the 13-second video to Reddit to warn other people to be careful.

Once officers arrived and took statements, Barr was advised to go to the emergency room, where staff decided against giving him a “drug cocktail” that would have made Barr severely ill and potentially damage his kidneys. Now, he’s in the middle of a nervous waiting game as he goes for bloodwork every few months hoping for the best results.  

"I mean, sometimes you expect somebody wants to steal your cell phone or your wallet but to just out of the blue stab you with a (needle) is just unheard of," Barr said.

"I just can't believe there's such weird people around in the city. You know, this is just unbelievable."

Kuriakose said he’s never seen anyone stabbed with syringe before, but violent incidents have been happening more frequently in the two years he’s been a bartender in Saskatoon.

“We have to deal with a lot of problems. Myself, I’ve been attacked many times. I almost got stabbed,” Kuriakose said.

“We have customers that have been kicked out for doing illegal things in the bathrooms or in the lounge area, we kick them out, they come follow us after when we’re done work (and) they wait for us outside to take revenge just because we’re doing our job … it makes it scary.”

Kuriakose said a coworker has had a customer follow her with a gun in his hand twice. Just last week, Kuriakose had his apartment broken into. His TV and nearly $1,000 in cash was stolen from Kuriakose and his roommates.

“We checked the cameras and it was my regular customer who had beef with me,” Kuriakose said. “I’m just trying to do my job there and people keep (taking) it personally.”

When asked why he keeps returning to work each day if the environment is so dangerous, Kuriakose had only one reply.

“It is something that I really love to do. It’s my job. I love my job no matter what. Nothing can stop me,” he said.

Barr isn’t afraid to go out, but he says he won't sit by himself at the bar again. Top Stories

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