Police identify Battle Creek sword attack suspect

Posted at 5:59 AM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-13 11:56:42-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Police cruisers filled the parking lot at Teal Run Apartments early Friday morning after they received a phone call from a 13-year-old boy that his mother was being stabbed by his father.

“She was a sweet lady and the family’s a sweet family,” said friend and neighbor Paula Sharp. “Just can’t believe this is happening.”

Sharp like others at the housing complex were shocked by the news. Battle Creek police said at 2:43 a.m. the father forced his way into the woman's home on Skyview Lane with a 3-ft sword in his hand. He began attacking the 35-year-old mother in her bedroom while their children were nearby.

“The 13-year-old jumped on the man and was able to get them separated to where the mom started to be able to get away,” said Det. Sgt. Todd Elliott during an interview at the station. “However, then the man went after her again.”

Det. Sgt. Elliott said the boy quickly dialed 9-1-1 and reported what was happening. That's when the father took off.

“This was a pretty gruesome attack that she sustained,” said Det. Sgt. Elliott. “The boy was able to give us the name and vehicle description of his dad, the suspect, and said he was headed towards the Kalamazoo area.”

Immediately police alerted authorities in Kalamazoo, he said, about the suspect who was not married to the mother. The father was spotted on Kings Highway and by 3:19 a.m. he was arrested on charges of assault with intent to murder and home invasion.

At midday Saturday, police identified the suspect as Anthony Maurice Whitlock, 35. He was charged with assault with intent to murder, home invasion and being a habitual offender.

Whitlock is expected to be arraigned in court sometime next week.

“Our concern is for the kids,” said Det. Sgt. Elliott. “That was a pretty horrific thing to be present for.”

The police department has been in contact with child protective services to offer the children counseling if needed, he said. As for the mother, she suffered severe lacerations to her arms and legs. She’s currently in critical condition at a hospital in Kalamazoo.

“We give a lot of credit to the 13-year-old,” said Det. Sgt. Elliott. “That was a very brave thing that he did, not just being able to call 9-1-1 but to try and intervene and stop this guy from attacking his mom.”