A Wichita man is recovering in ICU tonight after he was allegedly attacked with a hatchet by someone he hired just a day before.
58-year-old Michael Ellis was struck a total of eight times with the hatchet. Ellis said the alleged suspect is a man he brought on to help with his home renovation business.
Police said in the early morning hours of Friday (June 21), Ellis was checked into the emergency room at Wesley Medical Center with multiple deep cuts to his face.
“He was at a job site and a worker that he had hired prior to that day on Thursday came back that night and attacked him with a hatchet,” said Joshua Langworthy, Ellis’ nephew.
The alleged attacker then demanded money according to Ellis, but ran away on foot after leaving with only six dollars.
The job site was on North Harding where several workers are remodeling a home.
Ellis’ family said the suspect rushed in the back door before the attack.
“[He] hit him in the back of the head with the blunt side of the hatchet and then hacked him in the face,” said Langworthy. “He has six plates in his face, chopped off the tips of his fingers. From my understanding, that was a defensive position.”
Langworthy said Ellis went through a six-hour surgery and is still in a lot of pain.
He said his uncle was trying to help the suspect prior to the attack by offering him a job.
“My uncle’s a great guy,” said Langworthy. “He’s got a heart of gold, wants to help everyone.”
The family said this seems like something from a horror movie, but they’re glad Ellis is alive.
“He’s traumatized,” said Langworthy. “Someone came after him with a hatchet. He’s pretty scared.”
Wichita police released a statement to KSN about the investigation.
It said in part, “The investigators have developed a suspect in the case and are working to locate and speak with the suspect. This was not a random incident.“
Ellis remains in the hospital until doctors can get his pain under control. His family said he will have to go though physical therapy after his injuries heal.
If you have any information about this case, contact Wichita Crimestoppers at 316-267-2111.