The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 24, 2013

Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop fends off attacker

Suspect turns himself in

SALT LAKE CITY — A Samurai sword-wielding Mormon bishop helped a neighbor woman 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 high 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 by phone Tuesday afternoon. "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 Eggersten, turned himself in to police an hour later, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. He was booked on charges of robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction.

Hendrix, a pharmaceutical statistician, was one of several neighbors who came to the woman's aid after she began yelling for help, Hoyal said.

The incident began just after 7 a.m. when the 35-year-old woman came out of her front door, Hoyal said. Eggersten was hiding behind her carport and attacked her, knocking her to the ground, Hoyal said.

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