A Mormon bishop wielding a samurai sword came to the aid of his neighbor on Tuesday morning in Salt Lake City.
Kent Hendrix said he sprung into action when his teenage son alerted him that a mugging was taking place outside their home.
Hendrix, 47, grabbed a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword, which he apparently keeps near his bed, and went outside. Hendrix said when the assailant saw his sword he said, “I’m leaving. I’m leaving.”
When he ran away, Hendrix chased him to his car. The suspect dropped a ChapStick on the ground and Hendrix picked it up.
“Ha, I got your DNA and your license plate. You are so done,” Hendrix recalled telling the man.
The suspect, Grant Eggertsen, 37, turned himself in to police about an hour later. He was charged with suspicion of robbery, burglary, trespassing and stalking, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.
Eggertsen allegedly approached Hendrix’s neighbor as she left her home in the Salt Lake City suburb of East Millcreek around 7 a.m. He had been hiding in the 35-year-old woman’s carport.
Police said Eggertsen knocked her to the ground, grabbed the woman’s house keys and tried to get into the home. She ran screaming for help.
Hendrix, a father of six, is a pharmaceutical statistician and the bishop who oversees his local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation. He was barefoot when he confronted the suspect.
"His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back," Hendrix said. "As he was coming through the fence, this is where I drew down on him and told him to get down on the ground. He was staring down 29 inches of razor."
Hendrix, a fourth-degree black belt, said in 30 years of practicing the Kishindo form of martial arts, this was the first occasion when he used the sword. He claimed he did not swing it at the suspect, but only showed him that he had it. While he was outside, Hendrix’s 14-year-old son called 911.
Hoyal said the 35-year-old woman, who suffered minor injuries, did the right thing by fighting back and calling for help.
"That kind of thing doesn't happen every day," Hendrix said. "Our neighborhood is a pretty quiet place."
Hendrix said he has trained with the sword for many, many years. "Some people have bats they go to," said Hendrix. "I have my sword."