STURGEON BAY (NBC 26) — A Sturgeon Bay man is facing a number of charges after police say he attacked a woman in her home with a hedge trimmer.
According to the criminal complaint, on April 25, 30-year-old Jacob Miller entered the home of Sturgeon Bay resident Ashley Young and attacked her, striking her in the head.
Young's niece and nephew, both just 5-years-old, were in the home at 928 Georgia St. and witnessed the attack. Police say Miller struck one of the children with his hand, causing injury to the child. Young's grandfather, who was working at the home at the time, heard the commotion and began to fight Miller off.
That's when Jonathon Traverson, who lives just across the street from the home, saw the altercation. Traverson says he stepped outside to bring in his garbage when he saw Miller attacking the grandfather in the front yard.
"The victim was screaming for me to dial 911,” Traverson said.
That's when Traverson quickly made the life-saving call to police. Police found Miller in the backyard and later discovered he had entered the house looking for car keys so he could leave town.
During the investigation, police said officers learned the man also broke several windows to a home across the street, attempting entry looking for car keys.
"My daughter fought hard to protect her niece and nephew," said Young's mother, Sherry Young, in a statement to NBC 26. "If my dad hadn’t been there, I think he would have killed her."
Neighbors say the incident has left them shaken.
"This has been a place all my life where you never really feel like you need to lock the doors," said Eric Benzow, who lives next door to Young. "Recently it’s like maybe I should change the locks and make sure everything’s tightened up before we leave.”
Benzow says when he learned of the attack, he couldn't believe such a violent incident had occurred in what he says is a quiet, tight-knit community.
"Sturgeon Bay is such a quiet, sleepy town," Benzow said. "Everybody’s so friendly, we know most of our neighbors and so it was a shock.”
Young’s mother tells us Young had stitches for her head injury and is having surgery for a broken ankle. She says she’s healing from her injuries and is thankful to be alive.
Traverson says her grandfather has since reached out to say thank you for making the call to 911, and that he's made plans with Young for when she recovers.
“She has made plans to maybe have a barbecue or something later on when she’s feeling better, so I’m up for it,” Traverson said.