Officer Ted Bordman was a finger away from death Wednesday night, the barrel of his own gun jammed against his jaw by a man on an inexplicable rampage.
Lawrence police say Bordman, 35, an 11-year veteran of the force, managed to stick his finger between his gun's trigger and the trigger guard, keeping his assailant from shooting him in the head after the man apparently took Bordman's 9 mm pistol from its holster and stuck the barrel under the officer's chin.
Bordman's life-or-death struggle ended when a passing motorcyclist stopped to help subdue the attacker.
Jeffery McManaman, 29, Topeka, was charged Thursday afternoon with attempted second-degree murder in the assault on Bordman and misdemeanor battery in an earlier assault on another man.
McManaman listened to the charges, hands and feet shackled. After District Judge Paula Martin told him he couldn't comment, he stepped from the podium as if to leave but then turned back.
"I gotta say it," McManaman said, voice rising. "Don't judge anyone for their sins, ever. Don't judge them in any way. That's the key to hell."
He continued to rant as deputies pulled him from the room.
Sgt. George Wheeler of the Lawrence Police Department said police still know little about McManaman.
Wheeler said McManaman came to Lawrence early in the week, staying several days at a motel.
About 6 p.m. Wednesday, Wheeler said, McManaman offered a Lawrence man $50 to drive him to Topeka. The man agreed, but stopped first at Hillcrest Amoco, 914 Iowa.
The pair went inside to buy a soft drink. In the check-out line in front of them, Wheeler said, was a man in a Rolling Stones T-shirt.
"He was standing in line, not bothering anybody, singing to himself," Wheeler said.
For no apparent reason, McManaman allegedly slugged the man, who left the store and got into a light blue Volkswagen. Wheeler said McManaman followed the man, whose identity remains unknown, and reached through the car window, hitting him several more times.
Then McManaman walked back into the store, Wheeler said, and without warning hit the man who was driving him to Topeka. After a fight, the second victim called police. McManaman left the store on foot.
Bordman caught up with him about a block away, at Ninth Street and Highland Drive, Wheeler said. Bordman approached McManaman and asked to speak. Without warning, Wheeler said, McManaman attacked. As the two struggled, McManaman snatched the officer's pistol from its holster.
McManaman "puts the gun under Bordman's chin and attempts to pull the trigger," Wheeler said.
Police want to talk to the first man they say was attacked by Jeffery McManaman.
The man, a white male in a Rolling Stones T-shirt, tussled with McManaman at Hillcrest Amoco, 914 Iowa. Witnesses said Mcnaman continued to hit the man until the victim left in a light blue Volkswagon Beetle.
Prosecutors could file another change against McManaman if the first victim steps forward, said Sgt. George Wheeler of the Lawrence Police Department."We don't know who this guys was," Wheeler said. "We'd like to."
But Bordman, as he was trained to do, stuck his finger behind the trigger. His hand was broken during the struggle, Wheeler said.
Richard Diers, 24, passed the pair on his motorcycle. The Baldwin man told the Journal-World he saw the scuffle start in his rearview mirror and turned to see McManaman go for the gun. Diers got off his motorcycle and went to help.
"I cautiously looked around the bush to see who had control of the pistol," Diers recalled of approaching the struggle. "I took (the) suspect's arm and put it around his back and tried to push him on the ground. He let go of the pistol."
Other officers soon arrived to take McManaman away. Witnesses said McManaman was carrying a Bible and a bottle of water at the time of the incident.
'How he is'
Diers' wife, Lori, was following her husband in her car. She saw him go to Bordman's rescue.
"That's how he is," she said. "He couldn't stand by and not do something about it. He's just a good person."
"I was hoping (McManaman) wouldn't have control of the pistol when I got there," Richard Diers said.
Police say Diers perhaps saved Bordman's life. Several officers on Thursday stopped by his office at Wheatland Systems, where he is a software engineer, to congratulate and thank him.
"Bordman stopped by, too," Diers said. "(It was) pretty nice of him to thank me again."
Security was tighter than usual Thursday afternoon when McManaman appeared before the judge at the jailhouse courtroom. There were four deputies on hand instead of the usual one.
Of three inmates in court, McManaman was the only one shackled. He appeared bruised on the left cheek and chin.
Assistant Douglas County Dist. Atty. Trent Krugh asked Martin to set bond at $500,000. She set it at $200,000 and appointed attorney John Frydman to represent McManaman. The next court hearing is at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Bordman is on indefinite leave while his hand heals. He was not available for comment.
In 1991, Bordman was involved in another life-threatening incident. A 22-year-old American Indian, Gregory Sevier, allegedly came at Bordman with a butcher knife when police responded to a call at Sevier's parents' home. Bordman and Officer James Phillips shot and killed Sevier. A coroner's inquest ruled the shooting justifiable.