Neighbors join chase; suspect turns self in
SALT LAKE CITY – A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop helped a neighbor escape a Tuesday morning attack by a man who had been stalking her.
Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him: a 29-inch-long carbon steel Samurai sword.
He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. The martial arts instructor didn’t hesitate in drawing the sword and yelling at him to get on the ground.
“His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back,” Hendrix said. “He’s probably never had anyone draw a sword on him before.”
The man ran down the street with the barefoot Hendrix and others in pursuit. Hendrix said he couldn’t catch the man before he fled in his car, but he picked up ChapStick that the man dropped and memorized his license plate.
“I yelled at him, ‘I’ve got your DNA and I’ve got your license plate: You are so done,’ ” Hendrix said.
The suspect, 37-year-old Grant Eggertsen, turned himself in to police an hour later, police Lt. Justin Hoyal said. He was booked on charges of robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.
The incident began just after 7 a.m. when the 35-year-old woman came out of her front door, Hoyal said. Eggertsen was hiding behind her carport and attacked her, knocking her to the ground, Hoyal said.
He took her keys and tried to open the door to her house, Hoyal said. That’s when the woman ran down the street calling for help. She suffered minor injuries.
Hendrix, a pharmaceutical statistician and bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it was the first time in 30 years of practicing martial arts that he’s used the sword. He didn’t swing it at the man, only showing him he had it.