A Winnipeg man was stabbed early Sunday morning, after coming to the aid of a fellow transit passenger.

Matthew Brian Shorting and Jonathan Meikle were on a bus near Graham Ave. and Donald St. when they said a man got on and began to make gang signs and yell racial slurs.

“Talking about how he could say what he wants and no one could do anything about it,” said Shorting.

Meikle said the man pulled out a knife, and turned his attention to another passenger in front of them, harassing the passenger with racial slurs.

Shorting told CTV News the agitated man was uttering threats, saying he was going to stab the passenger in the neck, who then moved to the front of the bus in an attempt to get away from his harasser.

“I needed to get his attention off the victim so I yelled out ‘hey’. He turned around and as soon as he advanced towards me I got one hand up and I spartan-kicked him,” said Meikle.

Meikle said he pinned the man down and he and Shorting managed to move the man off the bus, all while the man had a knife in his hand.

During the struggle, Meikle said he was stabbed in the back of the leg but managed to get the knife away from his attacker, holding him down until police arrived on scene soon after.

When asked about their reactions, both Meikle and Shorting said they wouldn’t hesitate to help someone in need.

“I have a grandmother who tells me it takes a village to raise a child,” said Shorting.

“So if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to keep its citizens safe.”

Meikle, who is recovering after getting eight staples in his leg, said he’s an Afghanistan veteran and that protecting others is second nature.

“When I see someone who’s in a defenceless position, I’m going to stand up for them.”

Calling the incidents “terrifying”, Const. Jay Murray with the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) said police believe the suspect was involved in a robbery at bus stop near Graham Ave. and Edmonton St. before boarding the bus.

Murray said he held a knife to a man’s throat and stole his wallet and phone before taking off.

Murray went on to say that while police don’t want members of the public putting themselves in harm’s way, the two men potentially stopped someone from being seriously hurt.

Devon Evan Charles Henderson, 23, is charged with robbery, uttering threats and assault with a weapon.

He was detained in custody.