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Topeka Police release video of suspects in attempted robbery of SM West football player

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 1:27 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at 4:16 p.m.

Topeka Police on Wednesday released surveillance video showing the two men who attempted to rob Shawnee Mission West football player Brett Sterbach.

The video shows two men approaching the car Sterbach was sitting at the Phillips 66 on 810 SE 15th Street just before 11 p.m. Saturday. Sterbach and his family had made a stop while coming home from the Shrine Bowl all-star game at Washburn University, where Sterbach played on the winning team.

The surveillance video from the gas station shows the first suspect, about 6 feet tall wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head and plaid shorts, approaching the car, while the second suspect, about 5-9 and wearing a green shirt, black pants and a baseball cap with the bill pulled up, stands in the background.

The 5-foot-7, 155-pound Sterbach, 18, wrestled away a knife from the first suspect, suffering a stab wound in his thigh, then fought off both assailants, forcing them to flee. Sterbach said he stabbed the first suspect in the abdomen as the second suspect was hitting him on the head. Then Sterbach got out of the car and chased the second suspect away, stabbing him in the collarbone area.

Police say both suspects were seen leaving in a blue Dodge Ram four-door pickup that was driving by a third man, who was wearing a red shirt. Also according to police, the suspect in the green shirt will have significant wounds to his left shoulder area and the first suspect may have wounds to his torso and left shoulder.

Anyone with information is asked to call Topeka Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007 or Topeka Police detectives at 785-368-9400. Police say persons with information may be eligible for a reward.

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