By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
TOPEKA, KS (KCTV) -
Brett Sterbach, 18, is used to defending himself on a football field. The former Shawnee Mission West star rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season. But his battle Saturday night in Topeka, KS, was something very different.
"It was pure instinct and reaction defending myself," he said
Sterbach and his family stopped at a gas station at Southeast 15th and Adams Street in Topeka before driving home after the Shrine Bowl late Saturday night. Two men approached Sterbach sitting alone in the car and pulled a knife.
"[They] tapped on the window and I wasn't even thinking about because I'm on the phone. I open up the door and as soon as I do that he pulls it open and pulls out a knife and is like, ‘Give me all your money and give me everything you have,'" he said. "My first reaction was, as I was putting my phone away, I went to grab down the knife because I wanted it away. That's when I think I got stabbed in the leg."
Sterbach eventually wrestled the knife away as the other would-be mugger was hitting him in the head. He said he stabbed both of his attackers several times, one he got in the gut and the other near the collar bone.
"They ran off and I started chasing them. Then the guy who I stabbed in the gut and the same guy who stabbed me reached in his hoodie pocket and acted like he was pulling a gun, that's when I ducked," the football player said.
That's when Sterbach said he started looking for help.
"I looked down and my leg was bleeding. I didn't even feel the knife wound," he said.
Sterbach's mother said his family was completely unaware of the terrifying experience that had just gone on.
"We were inside getting drinks and snacks for the ride home. We had no idea until he showed up at the door saying, ‘Someone just tried to mug me' and was covered in blood and holding a knife," Julie Sterbach said.
Brett Sterbach's mom said she couldn't believe what just happened to her son.
"I think his mindset was on that football field defending himself - his natural instincts just kicked in," she said.
Brett Sterbach admits he's lucky things turned out as well as they did. He doesn't know if he'll react so boldly if it happened again.
"I was really lucky to get away with just a little leg wound. They could have killed me. So many possibilities that could have happened," he said. "I would recommend to think, ‘Is it worth possibly dying for a couple items, you can always get it back?'"
Police are still looking for the men who robbed Brett Sterbach.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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