WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A late-night trip for fuel and snacks at a northeast Wichita gas station ended with two women running from a man attempting to steal their car.
It happened a little before 1 a.m. Wednesday at the Quik Trip just north of 37th North and Rock Road.
The women reported Randy Sturgis approaching them, saying he had escaped from federal prison and wanted a ride.
When the women refused, Sturgis said he had a knife and tried to put them in the vehicle. Both were able to break free and run into the Quik Trip to call police.
Sturgis got into the vehicle, and tried to drive it but was unsuccessful. He took a cellphone belonging to one of the women and fled on foot.
Police arrived in the area, and after a brief chase were able to arrest Sturgis. It ended without anyone getting hurt, but the women say, it could have been different had either one of them been alone.
Eyewitness News spoke with the women Wednesday afternoon. With a concern for safety, neither gave their full names or wanted their faces on camera.
One of the women, Elizabeth, says she didn't expect a crime like this to happen at the North Rock Road Quik Trip, considered to be "in a nicer area."
She says she saw the man approach her friend, Kalli, and asked for a ride, telling the story of how he'd just escaped from a federal prison. That man, identified as Sturgis, then got physical with the women, attempting to force them into their car.
"I kinda just froze," Kalli says. "In that situation, I always thought, 'oh, I'd fight back,' but when it was actually happening, I was thinking, 'this can't be real.'"
After hearing about Sturgis' criminal past, Elizabeth and Kalli say they're thankful they weren't alone because the situation could've gotten worse.
"It would've probably gotten 10 times worse," Elizabeth says. "He could've acted 10 times differently, but I'm just glad that I was there for Kalli because knowing how she acted that night and froze up."
Sturgis is in jail, booked for suspicion of kidnapping, burglary, theft and resisting arrest.