Two 19-year-old Topeka men were charged Friday in Douglas County District Court with numerous crimes related to a Wednesday incident in which a Kansas University student was pistol-whipped during a robbery at The Reserve apartment complex, 2511 W. 31st St.
Sterling James Wilkins and Garrett Paulson were each charged with attempted aggravated robbery and theft, while Wilkins received additional charges of aggravated battery and interfering with a law enforcement officer.
Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman, said police were called at 11:50 p.m. Wednesday to the apartment complex.
Police said three KU students were sitting in a sport-utility vehicle in a parking lot Wednesday night, and another student was standing outside the vehicle, when two men approached them and demanded marijuana.
The occupants told the suspects they didn’t have any marijuana. One of the suspects then threatened to shoot the occupants before demanding money and property.
A struggle ensued between the armed suspect and the male student standing outside the SUV. The suspect punched the victim, then struck the victim on top of his head with the pistol, which fired into the ground.
The suspects took the victim’s keys and fled in another vehicle.
Medics treated the robbery victim, but he declined to be taken to the hospital, McKinley said.
About 12:35 a.m. Thursday, police received a report of vehicle burglaries in the 1000 block of Vermont Street.
“Witnesses reported seeing two individuals, who matched the description of the suspects involved in the incident at The Reserve, checking several vehicles parked in the city parking lot,” McKinley said. “They advised the subjects made entry to one vehicle prior to officers arriving.”
Police recovered a handgun, holster and keys to the robbery victim’s vehicle.
Bond for both men was set at $50,000. Several of the charges carry maximum penalties of 136 months each. A preliminary hearing was set for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.