Son credited with stopping violent sword attack on his mother in Battle Creek apartment

Police tape blocks off the entrance to a Battle Creek apartment where a woman was attached with a sword early Friday morning. (WWMT/Jason Puhr)

As a Battle Creek mother fights for her life in a Kalamazoo hospital, her son is being heralded as a hero, and likely the reason she is still alive.

After awakening to someone crashing through the family’s front door early Friday, the 13-year-old boy witnessed a man slashing at his mother with a sword – and stepped between them.

Police said the boy also called for help, telling 911 emergency dispatchers that his father had just attacked his mother with a sword.

“He very well could have saved her life,” Battle Creek police Detective Sgt. Todd Elliott said. “With his quick actions, making the call and intervening at one point, he was able to get the man off her and get them separated and she was able to start getting away from the guy."

“It was very brave what this young man did,” Elliott said.

Battle Creek police said the woman had two years ago filed an assault complaint against her ex-boyfriend, who is the father of her three children. Since then officers have been called six times for assistance with problems during custody exchanges, but nothing this violent.

The father, 35, ran from the scene but was apprehended within the hour.

The mother, also 35, was rushed into surgery with multiple stab wounds all over her body. She was listed in critical condition late Friday.

“That was horrible for them kids to see that,” neighbor Paula Sharp said Friday. “And it's going to traumatize them for the rest of their lives to see their mom get attacked like that.”

When it started, about 2:45 a.m., the woman and all three of the children were asleep in an upstairs unit at the Teal Run Apartment complex. There was a loud noise as someone crashed through the front door. Police said the woman came out of her bedroom, and when she saw the man wielding the sword, she ran back into the room. He followed her and that's where the attack began.

Elliott said it was violent.

“Probably one of the more gruesome ones I've seen in my time here,” he said.

Police said the 13-year-old tried to fight off his father using a kitchen knife. The boy was not injured.

“He stepped in to do what he needed to do for his mother, he is a hero,” Sharp said.

The boy also helped his mother get away.

“She was bleeding pretty profusely and from the trail we had through the apartment she was trying to get out the front door,” Elliott said.

Her attacker followed, however, until the 13-year-old called 911. Then, the man dropped the sword and ran.

About 40 minutes later, the suspect was pulled over in Kalamazoo County. He is being held on charges of home invasion and assault with intent to murder.

“She is an awesome mother to her kids and she loved her kids,” Sharp said of her neighbor and friend.

All three of her children, ages 13, 10 and 4, are in the care of her family.

Follow Rachel Glaser on Twitter and on Facebook.

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