Man arrested on suspicion of robbery, other crimes after allegedly stealing Lawrence woman’s cellphone by force

photo by: Kansas Department of Corrections

Anthony D. Harris pictured in April 2016

A Topeka man was arrested Thursday evening in eastern Lawrence after he allegedly stole a woman’s cellphone by force and injured a person who was attempting to help the woman.

The man, Anthony Duane Harris, 56, was arrested early on Thanksgiving evening in the 1600 block of Haskell Avenue on suspicion of robbery, aggravated assault and battery.

According to Laura McCabe, a spokesperson for the Lawrence Police Department, a man approached a woman and her son as they were entering their apartment and forcibly took the woman’s cellphone. The son was able to get inside, but the woman told police that the man used physical force to stop her from going in. A relative of the woman, who was inside the apartment, heard what was going on, came out to help, “and things escalated,” McCabe said. The woman got inside and called police. The responding officer was able to deescalate the situation by warning the suspect that he would use his Taser if he didn’t comply. Backup officers arrived and officers safely arrested the suspect, McCabe said.

The relative who tried to help had some injuries, which Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical personnel treated at the scene, McCabe said.

“We have reason to believe the suspect was impaired by drugs and alcohol,” McCabe said. “Both victims tell us they didn’t know the man prior to the incident.”

Harris remained in the Douglas County Jail on Saturday with no bond set. The Judicial and Law Enforcement Center was closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Harris has a lengthy criminal record going back to 1992 — including multiple felony convictions for theft, burglary and drugs in Shawnee County — and dozens of disciplinary reports within the prison system.


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