Shrine Bowl player gets new view of Topeka after stabbing

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The Shrine Bowl football player who was stabbed at a Topeka gas station last month has a new view of the Capital City.

A few weeks ago Brett Sterbach and his family stopped at the Phillips 66 gas station on S. 15th Street while on their way back home to Overland Park from the Shrine Bowl Game.

That’s when Sterbach was attacked by two men and stabbed in the leg.

“Someone had attempted to mug him, they had a knife and he was able to wrangle it from them and use it back on them,” says his mother, Julie Sterbach.

“Whenever an incident like this happens to any of us, it remains a part of you and so we wanted to immediately have something very positive for them that they could come back and see Topeka in a different light,” says Mayor Larry Wolgast.

So Wolgast wrote a letter to the teen asking him to visit for a day with his family at the Topeka Zoo.

“I was actually just really honored that he actually took the time to mail out the letter and actually reach out to me, I was actually really touched by it and really thankful,” Sterbach says.

His family says they don’t think Topeka is a dangerous place, in fact his mom praises the Topeka Police and Fire Departments for their quick response that night.

“People say it seems like an eternity, it wasn’t,” she says, “It seemed like they were there right on top of this and they were awesome.”

“All cities have great areas and there are also areas you have to be more cautious about,” adds Mayor Wolgast.

Sterbach’s mother says it’s 10 years of football training that allowed the teen to fight back his attackers that night.

Mayor Wolgast says on behalf of the Topeka Police Department, they do not encourage people to react that way because it can sometimes lead to more dangerous situations.

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