Violent attack in Lawrence has some residents on edge

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 7:47 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCTV) - Police are on high alert after a homeless man violently attacked two people in downtown Lawrence, leaving them with head injuries.

The police said it happened Wednesday night near E. 10th and Massachusetts streets.

That night, a 34-year-old homeless man ran across the street and -- without warning -- started punching a man and woman who were walking on the sidewalk. Both victims sustained head injuries.

Lawrence police said they are outraged by the incident.

The police found the attacker, now identified as Deonte Jackson, on Thursday morning. He was armed with a knife and taken into custody.

Now, Jackson has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.

The attack left nearby businesses on edge.

“You have to be aware of your surroundings and what’s going on,” said Josh Tuttle, an employee at Rusty Taco. “There are people like that, willing to do that, here sometimes. Our homeless population is a problem.”

Lawrence police said they plan on increasing their foot patrols in the area.

Jackson had his first court appearance Friday afternoon. His next court date is set for May 30.