Lawrence police on Friday morning arrested a 19-year-old Horton man who is accused of burglarizing two neighboring homes and attempting to sexually assault women who were sleeping in their beds.
Sgt. Trent McKinley, a police spokesman, said the man was arrested on two counts each of aggravated burglary and sexual battery for the incidents that occurred about three hours apart in a neighborhood just south of the Kansas University campus. In the second case, the woman’s husband struck the suspect over the head with a pot from the stove.
The first incident occurred just before 3:45 a.m. Friday when a 24-year-old woman called police after she awoke and found an unknown man naked in her bed attempting to assault her.
“The woman yelled at the man who fled the residence partially clothed,” McKinley said. “Officers responded to the area and set up a perimeter, searching for the suspect and interviewing individuals in the area.”
When officers did not find the suspect, police did position themselves in the neighborhood and used unmarked vehicles to conduct further surveillance.
Then at 6:38 a.m., the officers in the area saw one man chasing another one. Police detained the suspect, identified as the 19-year-old Horton man, and they determined he had entered a second residence — next door to the first one — and attempted to sexually assault a woman in her bed as she slept next to her infant.
When the woman screamed, her husband rushed in from a nearby room and battered the suspect, who was attempting to flee, McKinley said.
The suspect was injured but got out of the residence. Then officers apprehended him. He declined medical attention at the scene. The victims were not physically injured, McKinley said. The sergeant said police thought the man had consumed alcohol before the two incidents.
Detectives and crime scene personnel assisted with the investigations. According to police, in at least one of the instances the suspect entered the home through an unlocked back door.
The suspect was taken to jail around noon Friday after police interviewed him. McKinley said the victims did not know the suspect.
Douglas County prosecutors will make a decision about filing formal charges against the suspect. Cheryl Wright, a spokeswoman for the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to set his bond over the weekend. Prosecutors could then file formal charges on Monday, Wright said.
The Journal-World generally does not identify sex-crime suspects unless they are convicted.