New surveillance video shows bizarre Halloween sword attack at Michigan gas station

KATANA web pic.jpg
Posted at 7:36 AM, Jan 14, 2022

IONIA, Mich. — A newly-released surveillance video shows exactly what happened during a Halloween stabbing at an Ionia County convenience store last year.

The stabbing occurred at More Purks convenience store in Easton Township, when a man dressed up as a ninja pushed his way behind the register, swinging a katana sword at a bewildered clerk.

The Ionia County Sheriff's Office says the suspect, dressed in all black and carrying the sword, walked to the convenience store and tried to use a rope to tie the door shut from the outside.

Deputies said the store clerk, 56-year-old Ted Rux Jr., confronted the suspect from inside the store and asked what was going on. That's where the surveillance video obtained Thursday picks up, at first without audio.

Video shows that as Rux spoke with the suspect through the door, the suspect, Jonathan Wroten, lifted the sword and struck the clerk through the slightly open door.

The pair tussled, making their way inside the store. Police said at that point, Wroten sliced Rux in the ear, nearly severing it entirely.

At that point in the video, audio kicks in.

"Alright man...I'll do it, I'll do it," Rux said. "Here, take the whole drawer. Take the whole f****** drawer."

Audio shows that Wroten's mind seemed to be somewhere else entirely.

"You f***** my family over, you ruined my family," Wroten yelled at Rux.

"Who are you? What are you talking about, man? What are you talking about?" Rux said.

Wroten's emotions seemed to flip in an instant.

"I'm sorry. They didn't listen to me," Wroten said.

Rux continued to point the suspect towards the cash in the drawer. Wroten grabbed some of the money.

"That's all I'm going to take, you can have the rest," Wroten said. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. Take the rest of the money, man."

Wroten later offered Rux his sword.

Wroten left the store, and deputies with the Ionia County Sheriffs Office quickly arrested him.

Wroten is facing numerous felonies related to the incident, as well as charges linked to an Oct. 20 case of resisting or obstructing an officer. He is expected back in court for both cases in April.

Mark Purkey, the convenience store owner, said that Rux continues to improve. He says the clerk benefited significantly from several plastic surgeons who were able to work on him soon after the attack.

Purkey added that business at the store is down but figures traffic will resume soon, as the katana attack was an isolated incident.

This story was originally published by Michael Martin on Scripps station WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan.