MASON CITY – A mom described an encounter she and her children had with a man Monday morning that left her “terrified” as he approached them with a hammer and said he had just killed his wife.
On the condition that her name and the daycare name not be mentioned, a Mason City mom described to NIT the incident which led to the arrest of 63-year-old Paul Andrew Stutts near the Cultural Crescent in downtown Mason City.
Police confirmed the woman’s story, in which she says began a little after 6 AM Monday morning, July 28.
“I got to the daycare and parked on the street,” the NIT reader explained. NIT previously reported that the incident unfolded near the 400 block of North Delaware Avenue. “After getting my 3 year old daughter out of the car I walked around to the other side to get my two year old son out.”
The woman said she saw a man approaching “but was hoping he would just keep walking.”
“He stopped at my car and asked me for a cell phone. I told him I didn’t have one and was going in the daycare where he could probably use a phone.”
She described her daycare as having locked doors and she just wanted to get to safety at that point, but then things got really scary.
“The man starts mumbling and states he murdered his wife and that he wanted to use a phone to call the police and he wanted me to record it,” she continued. “I told him ok and to come into the daycare with me to get the phone.”
That’s when the man’s hammer came into view.
“Walking up to the daycare is when I noticed the hammer tucked into his pants. I was in pure shock and terrified knowing he could pull the hammer out at any second and strike me or my kids.”
The woman’s cool resolve and apparent nerves of steel helped guide her through the trying ordeal.
“I stayed calm and got into the daycare to the locked doors. When I opened the door I told him he needed to stay back, once the doors were shut I hurried to the daycare worker and in a panic told her to hurry and call the police.”
She described the encounter with Stutts as “very traumatizing”.
“So thankful we were not hurt and my kids are ok.”
Police were called to the scene, and Stutts continued to lie to police about his apparently fictitious murder crime. He was placed under arrest and taken to jail, where he is still held, charged with filing a false police report.
Police never did recover the hammer.