OVERLAND PARK, Kan.—A man wanted in South Carolina for a violent assault on a woman has turned himself in to authorities.
Robert Burriss, 51, allegedly assaulted a woman and held her against her will last year. He had fled to the Kansas City area, and was employed as a maintenance worker at an Overland Park apartment complex.
He turned himself into Overland Park Police shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. He is now in custody in the Johnson County Jail.
A friend of the suspect, William Hall, told FOX 4 that Burris came to his apartment on Sunday and asked for his help in turning himself in to police. He says that Burriss ate dinner and took a shower, then made the call to police.
When police arrived, Burriss came out of the apartment with his hands up, ready to be handcuffed.
Hall says that Burriss told him that he just wanted to put this all behind him and face his punishment.
"He might have had mixed feelings," said Hall. "He was a nervous wreck, he was scared to death and he came and said, 'Man, I want to turn myself in, I don't know what to do.' You know he made the right choice. I'm glad he did"
Residents at the Village Apartments say Burriss had been working there as a maintenance man for nearly a year under the alias “Mike Ditch.”
“I’m floored I’m still floored. I just don’t believe it,” said one resident, who asked that FOX 4 conceal their identity on Saturday for fears over their safety. “It’s just hard to believe. We talked every single day. We would sit around and watch the races. He would come by and watch Price is Right in the mornings.”
“He was in our apartment,” Village Apartments tenant Abygil Ramirez told FOX 4 on Saturday. “It bothers me a lot that there’s maybe not enough background check. Not enough something because it shouldn’t have happened.”
The anonymous tenant told FOX 4 that even the police were friendly with the man they knew as “Mike Ditch,” saying Burriss would tip police off to crimes in the area. He says Burriss even helped officers catch tee s who were burglarizing the laundry mat in the complex.
“It blows me away,” he says. “It’s hard to believe he’s somebody different.”
People who live here say it’s unacceptable how easily Burriss slipped through the cracks.
“I just feel like people need to do more. The leasing office. A lot more. To protect people who live here. I shouldn’t have to be scared to walk up my stairs,” Ramirez said.