Oshtemo Township, MI – A competitive combat hobbyist used a replica battle axe to fend off a convicted felon who broke into his home on Wednesday night.
Ben Ball, 36, said he was home alone playing video games at approximately 11:30 p.m. when someone began pounding on his door, WOOD reported.
The suspect, later identified as 33-year-old Alex Lavell Rawls, used to date Ball’s female roommate, but she moved away in order to distance herself from Rawls, Ball said.
But Rawls didn’t know the woman no longer lived there.
The suspect ultimately kicked Ball’s door down.
Concerned that Rawls might be armed with a gun, Ball grabbed his battle axe and swung at the intruder, WOOD reported.
“[The] door opened, [I] grabbed the axe, [then] step, step, hit,” the homeowner told the news outlet.
Ball struck Rawls in the torso with the blade at least once before the two men began brawling throughout the residence.
The injured suspect ultimately retreated and fled the scene on foot, WOOD reported.
“There was a bloody mess everywhere,” Ball said of his demolished apartment.
One of Ball’s neighbors alerted the police, who arrived with tracking K9s.
A trail of blood led them to Rawls, who was transported to the hospital for treatment of his extensive injuries, WOOD reported.
He has since been released from the hospital, and was booked into jail on a charge of first-degree home invasion.
Rawls, a convicted felon who was just released from the Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) in July, faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted of the new offense, WOOD reported.
According to DOC records, Rawls was previously convicted of assaulting a police officer causing injury, fleeing, and attempted disarming of a peace officer.
Ball said that he uses the “double-headed carbon steel battle axe” during competitive ritualized combat events he attends during his off-time from his job at Applebee’s.
He referred to the weapon as his “baby,” and said that the time he has spent practicing with the ax came in handy during the home invasion, WOOD reported.