Strangers Rescue Cyclist After Stabbing
Lawrence Police Say Suspect Groped Other Walkers
POSTED: 8:00 pm CDT June 16, 2010
UPDATED: 2:48 am CDT June 18, 2010
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a woman on a Lawrence bike path Wednesday.
Lawrence police said Lawrence resident William Nichols has been arrested on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, attempted rape, criminal use of a weapon and sexual battery.
Police said they believe Nichols is responsible for groping at least two other women in recent weeks on bike paths.
Police said Nichols went to the path Wednesday with the intent to attack a woman. Police said he was armed with a knife.
"The victim was not known to the suspect and was apparently chosen at random at the location," according to a news release.
If not for two strangers who fought with the suspect, the woman's injuries would have been worse, police said. The two men were identified as Aidan Waugh and Nathaniel Mehl.
Police said they think Nichols is responsible for groping at least two other women walkers in recent weeks.
Wednesday's attack occurred on a city bike path just east of Clinton Lake Dam Road about 3:15 p.m. The biker suffered serious injuries but will survive.
Waugh and Mehl downplayed their heroic efforts in an interview with KMBC's Peggy Breit.
They said they heard the woman screaming.
"He was just stabbing the girl and she was just screaming, 'Help me, help me.' So we charged him," Mehl said. "She is a really, really brave girl."
The men said Nichols kicked the woman in the face. They said he might have killed her if they hadn't acted when they did.
"We are not heroes. We are just a couple of guys who happened to be in the right place at the right time"
- Aidan Waugh, rescuer
Both credited the victim with doing everything she could to ward off her attacker and draw attention to the crime.
"We are not heroes. We are just a couple of guys who happened to be in the right place at the right time," Waugh said.
The men said they were moved to see that the woman had a smile on her face as she was carried from the scene. They said they would like to see her again sometime to make sure she was OK."
Nichols moved to Lawrence several months ago, police said. Police said they believe Nichols groped a 22-year-old Lawrence woman in the area of Ninth and Mississippi streets on April 15 about 9:40 p.m.. The woman contacted police at the time.
Since Wednesday's attack, police said another woman has come forward saying a man grabbed her breast on Tuesday. The 21-year-old Lawrence woman said the man had followed her in the area of 1600 block of University Drive around 3:30 p.m.
Anyone with information about these crimes or similar crimes is asked to call Lawrence police at 785-830-7430 or 785-832-7509.