John Stewart had just returned home from walking his dog early Tuesday morning when two people broke into his Lawrence home, pistol-whipped him and stole money out of his pockets, all while his 3-year-old daughter was sleeping inside, he said.
First the suspects pointed the gun at his girlfriend and then at him. The situation prompted the 22-year-old to fight back.
“I tried to grab the gun, and I tried to wrestle him down to the floor,” said Stewart, who had blood stains on his clothing from the struggle. “My adrenaline was going … and I guess my objective was to either get the gun or get these two out of my house.”
Lawrence police said the home invasion and robbery occurred at 12:35 a.m. in the 300 block of West 23rd Street.
Stewart’s girlfriend, Sierra Keck, was folding their daughter’s laundry when the robbers barged in the front door, which police said had been left unlocked.
“I was just screaming, ‘Please don’t do this, my baby’s here; my daughter’s here; do not, do not do this,’” said Keck, 21.
The robbers eventually left, after a lengthy struggle that left blood stains throughout the home. They ended up getting just $7 from Stewart’s pockets.
Stewart said he recognized one of the attackers as an acquaintance from junior high school, and he identified him to police. Officers located the suspect at the Jayhawk Motel, 1004 N. Third St., and arrested him at 2:19 a.m. on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary, and criminal use of a weapon.
Officers are still searching for the second suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS hot line at (785) 843-TIPS (8477).