Community raising money for dentist who was attacked by robber

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A Topeka dentist is healing from an attack by a robbery suspect. It happened Tuesday night at his office near southeast 29th and California.

Dr. Mike Putnam thought someone knocking on his door needed his help, but he found out the person was going to help himself.

“The patient was standing outside the front door with his hand to his jaw and just really acting like he was in a lot of pain,” said Dr. Putnam.

He opened the door to his dentistry office late Tuesday night, because that’s what Putnam does. He stays open late or by appointment for emergency treatment. But the man who knocked on Putnam’s door wanted something else.

“We walked back to the back and I turned my back to get a cup of water for him, and I turned around and he grabbed me and things changed just black and white. He tackled me to the ground. Asked me if I wanted to die. Asked me if I had any money,” Putnam explained.

The man hit the doctor in the face and ribs, held him to the floor, grabbed his wallet, and ran out the back door. Putnam then called 911, describing the suspect as a Hispanic man, 30-40 years old, 5'10" and 170 pounds.

Putnam hopes, “maybe the public might have some facts that could help in some way.”

But people are doing more than that.

“He’s an asset to the community. Where would those people go that couldn’t afford dentist work if it wasn’t for people like him,” said Mike Engstrom, one of the Putnam’s patients.

He is raising money to help Putnam, who says often reduces his rates to help those who are less fortunate.

“I’d like to hopefully get enough to recapture his losses from what was stolen from him and I’d like for him to be able to use it to get a security system,” Engstrom explained.

Putnam says he is open for business as he recovers.

“The world seems pretty ugly when things like this happen, but when you see the positive reach out from the public, it is kind of inspiring,” said Putnam.

If you wish to help by making a donation, you can call 785-862-6035.