Sword wielder assists neighbor being assaulted at her Utah home
Crime • The 35-year-old victim had obtained a stalking injunction against the suspect.
Published: April 24, 2013 07:24AM
Updated: April 24, 2013 09:48AM

A group of neighbors, including one who was carrying a sword, helped a woman who was being assaulted Tuesday by a former co-worker.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said the incident took place just after 7 a.m. near 2165 E. Claybourne Ave. (2780 South).

A 35-year-old woman was leaving her Millcreek home when a 38-year-old male attacked her on her front porch. Hoyal said the two had a professional relationship at work, but the relationship dissipated after they stopped working together. Hoyal said the woman had obtained a stalking injunction against the man.

Hoyal said after the woman was assaulted, the man took her keys and tried to enter her home. The victim was able to get away and began running down the street, screaming for help.

The man chased the woman down the street, and a physical altercation took place, Hoyal said, adding that the woman attempted to use pepper spray on the man, but was unsuccessful.

Several neighbors came to the woman’s aid after hearing her screams, including an LDS bishop who was carrying a sword.

Kent Hendrix, 47, said that his son woke him up saying that there was a woman being attacked outside.

“I threw on some clothes and grabbed my sword,” he said.

Hendrix works as a pharmaceutical statistician and also teaches martial arts. He is a fourth-degree black belt in the martial arts known as Kishindo. He described his weapon as a 29-inch steel samurai sword, which he has had since he was 17.

By the time Hendrix ran out, several other neighbors had converged on the man. Hendrix said the suspect seemed surprised when he got confronted with a sword. The man started to run away, but Hendrix chased after him because he wanted to make sure the suspect got caught. During the chase, the man dropped his chapstick, which Hendrix picked up. He also took note of the man’s license plate before he drove away.

“I said: ‘Ha! I have your DNA and your license number. You are so done!’” Hendrix recalled.

The man turned himself in to police an hour later.

Hendrix said that he has never had to use his skills or his sword in a situation like that before, but he was glad for his training.

“You train for years, and years, and years, and all of a sudden you’re called to act — so you do,” he said.

The suspect was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on suspicion of robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violating a stalking injunction.

“The victim did everything right,” Hoyal said. “Screaming, hollering for help, ultimately alerting neighbors who came to her aid. These neighbors did a great job helping the victim.”

kbennion@sltrib.com

jmiller@sltrib.com