Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Neighbors, Father of Six, Save Woman From Stalker — With a Sword

Grant Eggersten, did not want to tussle with swordsman.

Grant Eggersten, did not want to tussle with swordsman.

Mormon Bishop Kent Hendrix woke on April 23, 2013, to the sounds of his son Eric’s fists pounding the bedroom door. The youth, 14, pounded and called for his father’s help, saying that a woman was being mugged in front of their Salt Lake City, Utah, house. Hendrix thought quickly and grabbed the first weapon he could find as he rushed out the door. For most of us that would have been an umbrella, or a broom, at best a bat, but luckily for the victim Hendrix teaches martial arts, so he grabbed a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword.

Hendrix and several neighbors rushed outside as the woman called out for help, his son calling 911. Hendrix yelled at the assailant to get on the ground and drew the sword on him, “His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back,” said Hendrix in an interview with that afternoon. “He’s probably never had anyone draw a sword on him before.”

It was enough; the suspect, Grant Eggersten, 37, who later turned himself in to police, promptly rabbited. Hendrix and the group of neighbors chased him to his car. Before he took off, Eggersten accidentally dropped his lip balm. Hendrix picked it up, “He was fumbling for his keys. He dropped his Chapstick and as he made it to his car I yelled, ‘Ha! I have your DNA and I have your license plate! You are so done!’”

Police later found out that Eggersten had been hiding in the bushes when his intended victim left her house to get in the car. He jumped her, grabbed her keys and tried to use them to get into her home. The woman, who suffered only minor injuries, ran, calling for help, while her attacker pursued. Police, who arrested Eggersten charging him with robbery, attempted burglary, trespassing and violation of a stalking injunction, say that the victim did the right thing by calling for help.

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