HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. – Warrants have been issued for 31-year-old Ted Treece of High Ridge who was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.
Michael Turner was playing video slots inside a convenience store next to the Phillips 66 gas station at the intersection of High Ridge Boulevard and Antire Road Tuesday afternoon when Treece walked in carrying a machete.
According to a probable cause statement, Treece started an argument with the victim while exhibiting the ax in a “threatening manner.” Treece allegedly hit Turner with the machete on his cheek.
“I think I broke my finger, and I got a little cut on my hand, and I think my knee has a little scratch on it,” Turner said. “Luckily, the blade only left a little mark.”
Turner said he immediately went into self-defense mode.
“I didn’t have any weapons or anything on me, and he had a giant knife, so the closest thing I could grab was some beer bottles, so I grabbed some beer bottles, and I threw one at him,” he said.
“It’s hard to describe, with something that happens that fast, it’s just pure insanity.”
Turner said the scuffle went through the convenience store and the store clerk was able to take the machete away.
“I had my phone in one hand and a beer bottle in the other hand, so I just started beating him with the beer bottle on the head and it exploded, and next thing I know we’re on the ground and I got him in a headlock, and I just started punching him in the face and in the head at this point, I was like I’m not walking out of the gas station,” Turner said.
“I figured I could keep him in a headlock long enough until the cops got there but whenever my arm was covered in blood, it was just slippery.”
Treece was able to get out of the gas station and sped off in his car. After he left, he sideswiped a Northwest R-1 School Bus with 34 students and one bus driver inside. No one was reported injured.
Then, Treece lost control of his car on Highway MM near Heads Creek Road, and that’s when Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department started a manhunt for Treece.
“I feel awful that he sped off and crashed into a school bus. I’m very thankful that all those children got to go home with their families that night, and that everyone is still alive,” Turner said.
The department said they searched the area for hours until they no longer believed he was in the area. The department said they don’t believe this was a random attack and said the suspect and victims knew each other.
When asked, Turner said Treece lives in the same neighborhood, but says they have only spoken a couple of times.
“You don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you, and you’re sitting there one day, and it does and then reality kind of sits in, and you’re a little more grateful for certain things that you get to enjoy every day,” he said.
If you see Treece or know where he is, you’re asked to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department (636) 797-5000, or call 911 immediately.