Police mistakenly told man to toss suspicious knife

A Whitehorse resident was mistakenly told to just dispose of a knife found outside his property even when it appeared to be covered in blood. RCMP admit a mistake was made.

A Whitehorse resident was mistakenly told to just dispose of a knife found outside his property even when it appeared to be covered in blood.

RCMP admit a mistake was made. They’ve since collected the serrated steak knife, and say an early examination found nothing sinister. They found what appears to be steak or hamburger along with what looks like blood.

John Lentz’s five-year-old son, Kyle, found the knife on Wednesday morning stuck into the road outside his Porter Creek trailer.

It looked like it had blood smeared along the sharp edge.

“He was on his way to catch the school bus and he ended up coming back and saying, ‘Hey Dad I found this knife.’ He was holding a knife with blood all over it,” Lentz said.

Lentz said he brought the knife into the house and called the Whitehorse RCMP detachment.

“I told them I found a knife, with blood, serrated. I don’t know what it was used for, but I’m fairly concerned.”

Lentz said the person on the other end of the phone took down his information.

When she called him back, she told him he could just get rid of the knife.

Lentz said he was surprised. He told the police he was going to tell the media, and hung up.

He didn’t toss the knife.

Whitehorse RCMP spokesperson, Const. Dean Hoogland, said a mistake was made in this case.

When a supervisor found out about the situation he directed officers to go and get the knife, Hoogland said.

“There was wrong direction given to whoever was talking on the phone… It’s not our common practice to ever say that to somebody on the phone. The mistake was made. It was he who then directed the investigator to go and get the knife and seize it and go from there.”

After Lentz’s first call, police were there within an hour to pick up the knife, he said.

Lentz said he wasn’t home when police came to get the knife. A friend let them in.

“They said because there was no phone calls last night about anybody being stabbed or hurt, there was no concern. What happens if that person’s dead, it’s not a concern?”

He said he was uncomfortable with the idea of just throwing out a knife that appeared to have blood on it.

He called his neighbourhood, in the Baranov Estates trailer park, “a little bit of a rougher area.”

“If I throw it away and it gets picked up from the garbage and brought down, then my fingerprints are on it. If there’s a chance that somebody got stabbed or cut or hurt themselves, I’m the one at fault now,” he said.

“…Then I thought, if I do throw it away I’m going to have to wash my fingerprints off of it and then what if I’m washing somebody’s DNA off? Somebody could have gotten hurt with this utensil.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com