Irresponsible Axe Owners Of The Day: Pavel Krivov And Petru Tomcac.

Image: Vancouver WA Police Dept

What would you do if you saw a man at a gas station wearing a motorcycle helmet and jacket, attacking a motorist with this forester’s axe? Assuming that you had the cojones to intervene and shout at him to stop, what would you do if he charged you with the axe?

Hold that thought for a minute…

According to the Vancouver (Washington) Police Department, Krivov and Tomcac wanted to become YouTube superstars by staging phony but terrifying axe murders and filming the ensuing chaos. Krivov allegedly dressed up as the biker-clad axe murderer while Tomcac posed as the victim and filmed the whole thing.

Several Good Samaritans shouted at Krivov to stop, and he responded by charging and swinging the axe at them. He reportedly got within a few feet of one terrified bystander, who had no way of knowing that the axe was a harmless but convincing fake.

From the Vancouver Columbian:

No injuries occurred in either incident, but in both the suspect charged at bystanders, Kapp said, and the unsuspecting victims believed they were about to be attacked with a real ax. Court documents reveal the suspect swung the ax in a slashing manner and got within four feet of one of the victims.

The bystanders, Kapp said, “expressed extreme fear for their lives. … They were unaware that it was fake.”

Officers were able to identify and locate the suspects, who told police they were pranking people by pretending to attack one another and threaten nearby residents while they videotaped the incident, Kapp said in a press release.

Pavel V. Krivov, 18, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of second-degree assault and Petru G. Tomceac, 18, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of criminal conspiracy. Both Vancouver teens were booked into the Clark County Jail and are being held on $20,000 bail.

Krivov and Tomcac told police they hoped to make money by posting the videos on YouTube, but their clever scheme is more likely to send them to state prison than to the Jackass Hall Of Fame. When a person menaces other people with what appears to be a deadly weapon, Washington state law doesn’t care if the weapon used is real or not. Using a replica gun to rob a bank becomes 1st Degree Robbery, and using a fake axe to threaten and terrify bystanders becomes 2nd Degree Assault.

Good luck, boys. Fake axes won’t get you very far at the Washington State Penitentiary.

And now back to my original question, the correct answer to which is the well-known ‘Mozambique Drill’: two to the body, one to the head. Or, if you don’t have that kind of trigger control, ‘keep firing into the torso until the threat stops moving’ works pretty well too.

Since he was stupid enough to pull this stunt in the generously “shall-issue” CCW state of Washington, less than two miles from your correspondent’s home, Pavel Krivov is damned lucky to be chilling in the hoosegow. He could easily be chilling out (at 35 degrees Fahrenheit) on a slab in the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office instead.



  1. Derek says:

    Suicide by Armed Citizen?

  2. Aharon says:

    Chris, I take it that you won’t voluntarily be taking his case pro bono? Imagine the horrified headlines around the country if a terrified good Samaritan (fearing for his own life) had pulled out a gun and shot the axe man dead.

    1. Matt in FL says:

      He’d be vilified, because “it was just a prank.” We know that. If it was me, I’d feel justified and completely horrible at the same time.

      1. jwm says:

        Yep, you have a moment to make your choice and a lifetime to relive your choice. If I never have to harm another person again as long as I live I’ll be a happy man.

      2. Aharon says:

        It’s good that you know that.

    2. Chris Dumm says:

      Luckily I already fulfilled my indigent defense contract, so I was not in court yesterday morning and could not be assigned to defend either of them. As stupid as their stunt was, I think that felony-level punishment would be excessively harsh here. We were all stupid on occasion when we were 19 or 20 (including myself–although not at this level) and we all turned out alright without having to pick up a felony record.

      1. Matt in FL says:

        I agree. I don’t think a felony (aka “ruin the rest of your life”) punishment is warranted here. To be honest, for most “first offenders” guilty of stupidity like this, just having to “go through the system” is enough punishment to keep them from ever doing anything like that again, before the actual punishment is even rendered.

      2. Lorina T says:

        Do you think this is considered cruel and unusual punishment? Can they possibly charge him with a class A felony because of a stupid mistake they made?

  3. Hal says:

    The TTAK?! Wow this is still happening:-D

    Good times.

  4. Swarf says:

    I’m sure the acting would stop as soon as he saw my gun, but would he already have a hole or two in him?

    We’ll never know.

  5. PatV says:

    Fire into the TORO? Ehhhh.


    1. Chris Dumm says:

      Text amended. Eventually.

  6. Kendahl says:

    Behavior like this makes one understand why some cops have little respect for civilians.

    1. Matt in FL says:

      Cops are civilians.

      1. The Requimen says:

        Cops are citizens*. We need to get out of this, “civilian” mindset. This isn’t Afghanistan, as the left reminds us of so often…

        1. jwm says:

          We’re all citizens. Cops just happen to be sworn citizens. And sworn at on occasion.

  7. Lorina T says:

    I know Peter he is not a criminal he would never even hit back or even place a finger on a girl. I have known him all my life he does not deserve this punishment .

  8. Wethepeople says:

    Why such harsh punishments for just a prank? He did not murder anyone or even lay a finger on anyone. What’s the big deal? Discrimination???

  9. Alex says:

    This is not right at all they do not deserve this they’re just teenagers give them a brake.

  10. Criminals really????? says:

    I know Peter very well. Petru Tomceac is a really good guy and he has a personality that he can not say no to a friend which is why he agreed to help his friend to do this prank. He has never even insulted anyone and I am 100% sure that he has never had even a though to hurt anyone but not murder. It’s Halloween give them a break. We we all have made mistakes that we regret doing and wish we never had done, but you can’t ruin those teenagers life because of this stupid prank they have done.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      Swinging axes at people on the street is a terrifying and potentially deadly stunt, but many of us agree that the prosecutor is going too far if he charges them with Assault 2, which is a ‘three strikes’ offense.

      1. criminals really????? says:

        Well Peter wasn’t swinging the ax he was just videotaping the incident and pretending to be the victim and he was charged with criminal conspiracy class A

  11. Criminals really????? says:

    I want to know at least one person that have never done a mistake they regret. We are all people and we make mistakes but this is how we learn. Everyone makes mistakes in life but that doesn’t mean they have to pay for them the rest of their lives. Good people sometimes make bad choices but that doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It means they’re humans. Easy to judge the mistakes of others but it’s difficult to recognize our own. I think the charge they got is too cruel and harsh.

    1. Duncan Idaho says:

      Man, they’re lucky that it turned out the way it did, though.

  12. Bob says:

    I live in Clark County and I cc a Glock 23. What a shock to both of us if I double tapped him and then found out it was a prank. You can’t fix stupid. Good luck in jail explaining how you were fake attacking people with fake axes.

    1. people says:

      yes you can’t fix stupid but you also can’t let that stupid moment of your life define who you are. Stupid is a thing not a person and I agree this was stupid but they shouldn’t have to pay for it the rest of their lives. And they did not attack any people they were just attacking themselves

  13. Paul B says:

    Most of the shit I did at 18 involved explosives. Boy am I glad I grew up a long time ago.

    Seems a felony is a little harsh. One the other hand if the axe wielder was dead that would be permanent.

    Lot of wrong in those boys heads.

  14. billdeserthills says:

    The police like to start with high level felony charges, that brings more fine money into the state coffers. Since these two were already declared “criminals” by the police nobody is supposed to care if they go to prison or simply pay huge fines and legal bills. That is how present-day governments work.

    1. people says:

      totally agree

  15. Skyler says:

    I hope the video makes a lot of money so that the victims, who have an excellent tort case, can get compensation for the terror that they were put through.

  16. Slim shady says:

    I know peter. He is a kind of guy that wakes up goes to the bathroom takes a piss then drinks some water. He used to drink water out of a plastic cup!! He didn’t have a girlfriend until he was 19. And after that, she still didn’t wanna do anything with him. Give him a break. He can’t lose his virginity in jail! Come on people. It’s about time cops start giving virgins a break. Don’t give up peter and paul!!

  17. Old Oregonian says:

    Those of you here who are their friends–hope you (and they) learn some valuable lessons from this sad affair. One lesson is that life is full of choices–do I choose path “A”, “B”, or “C”? ALL choices have consequences. They chose to do something very stupid. When Krivov was confronted, he charged at the people who were trying to be good citizens. They were legitimately in fear for their lives. THEY made choices–now THEY will have to live with the consequences of those choices.

  18. Ted says:

    I agree that 1: what they did was stupid, and could have gotten themselves or someone else seriously injured. Not only could they have been shot by one of the bystanders they were threatening, (and YES, swinging an ax at someone is threatening them with deadly force as the author pointed out) but what if someone attempted to flee from them and ran into the path of a car? This was in the parking lot of a gas station after all!
    2: I also I think the DA should let their heels cool in the county jail for about a month then accept a lesser plea such as disturbing the peace or simple assault. Hopefully that would teach them a valuable lesson.
    I also do not understand what Peter’s night time bathroom schedule and hydration regimen has to do with his character and defense of his actions in this incident.

  19. tobo says:

    I think these heavy penalties are justified. Less regarding the crime itself but as a deterrent for all those who intend on copying. Far better to make an example at the beginning than risk any of the 12,000 people who liked the youtube video (compared to 200 dislikes) being inspired to follow suit. The penalty is one thing, but making the consequences publicly heard is another – a small penalty doesn’t make headlines, so goes unnoticed by copycats. But the main problem I see here is a general lack of empathy to those who were terrified in this prank. I’m one for jokes and tricks but this one is utterly thoughtless.

  20. Lyne says:

    I happen to be the victim in this case. You might be interested to know that MR Krivov plea bargained and received 20 days work release. MR Tomcac has carried this out for over a year. This coming Wednesday 12/17 he will (presumably) enter a guilty plea and receive 10 days work release. Unfortunately my prison of fear sentence appears to be a life sentence.

    1. Roger says:

      Jesus Christ man. I highly suggest carrying a gun for self defense in case these sorts try this sort of crime again.

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Irresponsible Axe Owners Of The Day: Pavel Krivov And Petru Tomcac.

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