Witness responds to teenage assault at mall

TOPEKA (KSNT) –  Police continue searching for a young black man who assaulted a shopper at West Ridge Mall on Saturday, December 27th. The victim sustained serious injuries, and was not only knocked out, but even robbed during the attack.

“We heard at least 3 or 5 hard punches to the face,”Halston Puett, witness said.

That’s when Puett turned around to witness a sight he may never forget.

“The other kid is just unconscious, bleeding horribly bad so I ran out to help him up,” Puett said.

Police say the victim was beaten with a chain, and in a graphic photo released on Facebook can be seen suffering from wounds to his face. Suffering as the suspect just simply walked away.

“The kid just went down the escalator like a casual person, like nothing ever happened,” Puett said.

Facebook posts of friends of the victim posted online about the incident, saying how it all stemmed from a pair of shoes, “A guy with a chain wrapped around his hand broke the friend’s nose and cheekbone for a pair of shoes that weren’t even particularly special or expensive.”

“That’s kind of scary, kind of makes me wonder how things are going to transpire and which direction they’re going here,”Art Koehler, Shopper.

In a statement from the West Ridge Malls owners, Simon Property Group, they responded by saying, “The safety of our mall patrons is our number one priority. We are constantly evaluating our security programs to ensure we are taking proactive measures, including maintaining consistent security patrol of our mall, continuous employee and customer communication and maintaining a strong partnership with the Topeka Police Department.”

But it still leaves shoppers wondering, where was the security?

“Well I can’t say I see a security presence, you see security personnel every once in a while,” Greg Maxon, Shopper

Police say the suspect they are searching for is described a as a black male believed to be a 17-year-old who is 6-foot-tall weighing 180 pounds. At the time of the crime he was see wearing a black t-shirt, and Jordan brand shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-007, detectives at (785) 368-9400 or visit Crimestoppers.org.


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