Archive for Friday, February 1, 2008

Carjacking victim feels ‘lucky’ to have survived

Suspect faces 6 felonies in 2-county chase

Lawrence resident Barbara Trouslot stands beside her Toyota Highlander Friday after the vehicle was carjacked from her and wrecked Thursday night. After being threatened by a carjacker, Trouslot tossed her keys outside before exiting the vehicle at the Dairy Queen at 1835 Mass., where she had stopped for ice cream. Edward James Wise, a Kansas City, Kan., transient, is suspected in the crime and was arrested downtown Thursday night after being tased.

Lawrence resident Barbara Trouslot stands beside her Toyota Highlander Friday after the vehicle was carjacked from her and wrecked Thursday night. After being threatened by a carjacker, Trouslot tossed her keys outside before exiting the vehicle at the Dairy Queen at 1835 Mass., where she had stopped for ice cream. Edward James Wise, a Kansas City, Kan., transient, is suspected in the crime and was arrested downtown Thursday night after being tased.

February 1, 2008


Carjacker behind bars

The man who was responsible for several car accidents, carjacking and leading police on a chase through Lawrence is in the Douglas County jail today. Enlarge video

It was supposed to be a quick stop at Dairy Queen to treat her sweet tooth.

But the 67-year-old longtime Lawrence resident received more than the small vanilla cone she paid for Thursday night in the drive-through of the restaurant at 1835 Mass. She received a terrible scare when her life was threatened.

A man stole Barbara Trouslot's car at gunpoint and crashed it in downtown Lawrence before officers arrested him.

"I just didn't want to get shot," Trouslot said. "I just knew I had to get out of my car."

She wasn't the only victim in a crime spree that included two stolen vehicles and at least four crashed vehicles during a high-speed chase.

Lawrence police arrested Edward James Wise, 23, a transient from Kansas City, Kan., late Thursday and took him to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for an evaluation. He was booked into the Douglas County Jail at 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Wise was charged Friday with one count of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated assault with a handgun, two counts of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and one count of fleeing or attempting to elude police. All six counts are felonies. He made his first court appearance Friday afternoon in Douglas County District Court, where Judge Jack Murphy set his bond at $250,000.

He is scheduled to appear at 2 p.m. Wednesday before Judge Michael Malone in court. Defense attorney Craig Stancliffe has been appointed as Wise's lawyer.

The chase

Wise is suspected of stealing a 1999 green Plymouth Voyager belonging to 57-year-old Lawrence resident Barbara Williams at 8 p.m. Thursday from a residence in the 900 block of North Seventh Street in North Lawrence.

Williams said the van was stolen while she was inside checking on her daughter's house. She's on a fixed income and only has liability insurance on her van. She's not sure how she can get it fixed.

"I feel like I'm in the bottom. I lost my car," Williams said Friday in a telephone interview. "Why did he take my vehicle?"

At 9 p.m. Thursday, a Leavenworth County sheriff's officer discovered the Plymouth Voyager traveling south on U.S. Highway 24-40. The officer began a high-speed pursuit before a sergeant ordered him to call off the chase, and Leavenworth County officers notified Lawrence police that the driver was headed for the city.

Lawrence police officers tried to stop the van near Sixth and Vermont streets, but the driver headed south and caused a wreck near 11th and Vermont streets, where one person suffered minor injuries but refused treatment.

The driver then turned onto Massachusetts Street and drove south to 19th Street.

The suspect abandoned the van and eventually encountered Trouslot in the Dairy Queen parking lot. She was trying to turn left onto Massachusetts Street when she heard metal tapping on the passenger-side window of her gold Toyota Highlander.

Trouslot, a real estate agent and retired teacher, said the man pointed a pistol and screamed for her to get out of the car or he would shoot her.

She said her heart was racing and her only thought was to get out of the car and away from the man.

In the midst of frantically fidgeting with her seat belt, Trouslot said she accidentally rolled down her window. Then, she said, she grabbed her keys from the ignition and tossed them several feet away to buy her some time.

The man ran around the front of the car and snatched the keys from the ground. Meanwhile, Trouslot got out of the vehicle and away from the man without being harmed.

Trouslot escaped with her pocketbook and her ice cream cone. Three police officers quickly arrived on the scene, and she described the man and her vehicle.

To soothe her nerves, Dairy Queen workers gave her a free cup of coffee as she finished her ice cream cone.

"She kept her wits about her pretty well," said Teri Davenport, the general manager for Dairy Queen.

Downtown chaos

Police said Wise caused two more accidents in the 1100 block of Massachusetts Street after leaving Dairy Queen. When the airbag deployed in the Toyota Highlander, he tried to enter a green Toyota van that was parked at a stoplight.

But police were able to order him away from the vehicle. Witnesses said the man was holding a gun to his head as he walked east on 10th Street.

A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper eventually incapacitated Wise with a Taser, and officers apprehended him. He was not injured, police said. Police also recovered a 9mm Ruger at the scene.

"I can tell you in a situation like that where there are a lot of people around, the Taser is a much better option because of all the people around. There's no bullets flying," said Lt. Art Wilburn, a highway patrol spokesman.

On Friday, Trouslot was counting her blessings.

"I'm just so lucky. I just think God was looking after me," she said.

- 6News Assistant News Director Janet Reid and Lansing Current Editor John Taylor contributed information to this report.


doc1 9 years, 10 months ago

compmd. Were you refering that they don't do anything else or was I misreading you?

compmd 9 years, 10 months ago

So that's what every police officer in the county was doing downtown thursday night. My friends and I were wondering what happened.

cdc 9 years, 10 months ago

Glad everyone is okay. I really hope Barbara Williams gets some help. She is the real victim.

justthefacts 9 years, 10 months ago

Good job everyone! The fact that the Highway Patrol had to be called in to help may be due to the fact that (as I have been told) the LPD does not yet have tasers. The sheriff's office does and so do KHP officers. The LPD has asked for funding for some tasers for some of their officers, who would be trained to use them first (including getting tased themselves, so they know what it feelsl ike). As evidenced by this scenario, there will be times when that method helps take down someone who will use deadly force (a car), but whom law enforcement thinks can be subdued without using deadly force in return. It may save time and lives if the LPD does not have to wait for officers with other units to show up with their tasers!

As for the victims of these crimes, I hope someone comes up with vehicle repairs for the lady on a fixed income! If not, the victims rights people need to tell her to apply for their help, ASAP!

infidel785 9 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Kaw Pickinton 9 years, 10 months ago

"Trouslot escaped with her [snip] ice cream cone."

Oh thank God!

but seriously... glad your safe.

farmgal 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm glad she's alright, but a good example of why it's important to have a way to protect yourself. There are a lot of thugs out there, unfortunately. Hopefully, she'll look into getting a hand gun.

jonny_quest 9 years, 10 months ago

hey, give the guy a break, it was cold and he needed a ride to Last Call

50YearResident 9 years, 10 months ago

There is help for this victim, it's called her "no fault insurance" plan. Required by all Kansas car owners.

akt2 9 years, 10 months ago

Too bad he didn't just shoot himself. First the taxpayers got to pay for his evaluation at LMH after he was tasered. Now we get to pay for his room, board and legal fees for how ever many years. And we better make sure that his rights are not violated at anytime while we are doing it.

mom_of_three 9 years, 10 months ago

The woman was so scared when her Toyota was high jacked that she had trouble with her seatbelt and rolled down her window by accident. Do you think she would have been better with a gun? Thank goodness she was able to get away safely.

ontheotherhand 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you, mom_of_three. As nervous as she was, she would have probably been shot had she showed a gun. I know Barb--she is a wonderful person. She helped me buy my first house years ago. I am so glad she is safe.

TheEleventhStephanie 9 years, 10 months ago

As nervous as she was, the ice cream cone escaped unscathed! I am glad she and the ice cream were both saved!

compmd 9 years, 10 months ago

doc1, you misread me. I was being honest, I haven't seen that many police downtown at once in a long time. The two incidents in recent memory that brought that many police downtown were the Granada shooting and the Brothers shooting/car crash. I had a feeling something bad must have gone down when I saw all those flashing lights.

kneejerkreaction 9 years, 10 months ago

For all you antitaserites out there, if the LPD had been the only (taserless) officers present, Mr. Wise would have been Mr. DeMise.

Who cares you say? Well...whatever...

Point being that maybe tasers aren't so bad?

Confrontation 9 years, 10 months ago

I wouldn't consider Dairy Queen's food to be less dangerous than a crazed maniac. I'm glad she didn't get injured (by the crazed maniac).

compmd 9 years, 10 months ago

As we all know, this is all the fault of NBN and the filth and smut they sell. If it were gone, the neighborhood would be so much better and safe...wait...whispering in compmd's ear...oh...whoops. Um, carry on, citizens.

This is a joke, you're supposed to laugh.

50YearResident 9 years, 10 months ago

Perched Hawk, he got there in a stolen van that he was caught driving in the Levenworth area which is the one he was chased back to Lawrence in. That one quit on him so he did the carjack at the Dairy Queen.

jonny_quest 9 years, 10 months ago

That Dairy Queen should have it's ice cream license revoked. It's a magnate for sleazy, out of town dilly-bar-bangers. It needs to be a Bring Your Own Ice Cream (BYOIC) establishment with Mil-Spec bouncers to prevent this from happening in the future.

justthefacts 9 years, 10 months ago

Huh warmer? The system is bad because a victim is harmed by the bad actions of a single individual? Big leap in logic there. Bad thing are done by one bad person and you believe that there should be some magic system fairy to put her back together again, without any cost to anyone else? FYI There ARE victim funds available to her, if she files a claim in time and there are enough funds to go around (apply to the crime victims fund administered at the state level; warning - there are more claimants then funds every year).

The RESPONSBILE person is the transient. Good luck getting $$ out of him any time soon. Meanwhile, if YOU feel that the system should fix it for her, feel free to buy her a new car with your money. Or give her yours. After all, unless you are a transient too, you are part of the system.

been_there 9 years, 10 months ago

I wonder what kind of damage they are talking about on Ms Williams car, is it drivable?

naturalist 9 years, 10 months ago

Oh, yeah, Farmgal, let's put more guns into peoples' hands. Now that's a solution!! Seriously, the problem is that too many people have guns. We need better gun laws, as they have in Great Britain, for example.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.