Carl Arndt and Peter Jonsson were cycling when they saw Brock Turner assaulting an unconscious woman
One of the two Swedish students who interrupted the now convicted rapist Brock Turner, chased after him after he attempted to flee the scene, and apprehended him until police officers could arrive on the scene has spoken for the first time about the sexual assault they stumbled upon while cycling to a party on the campus.
PhD candidates Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson have been hailed as heroes for their actions on the Palo Alto campus 18 months ago, when they paused after noticing a woman lying motionless on the ground behind a rubbish dumpster while her attacker, 20-year-old Brock Turner, was on top of her.
Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Expressen, Arndt described the night, saying: “We see that she’s not moving, while he’s moving a lot. Peter goes up to them and asks what he’s doing and I follow. When he gets up, we notice that she’s still not moving in the slightest, so we ask something like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’”
Turner, a competitive swimmer at the exclusive Californian university, then fled the scene, with one of the Swedes pursuing him.
“I check that the girl is still alive, because she was lying there completely still, while Peter immediately runs after and manages to catch him after perhaps 30m. We then hold onto him until the police arrive.”
Last week, Turner was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault by a unanimous jury vote, but the already high-profile rape case became a focal point of worldwide attention when the judge sentenced Turner to only six months out of a maximum possible sentence of 20 years. Almost 630,000 have since signed a petition asking to remove Judge Aaron Persky from the bench in light of the perceived leniency of his sentence.
Swedish PhD students Carl Arndt and Peter Jonsson, credited with apprehending Brock Turner [Pixabay]
Turner’s 22-year-old victim read an impact statement to the court, which has since been widely shared online after it was picked up first by Palo Alto Online and then Buzzfeed. The woman writes candidly about the pain she endured after being alerted to the crime and during the trial, while praising the two Swedish men for coming to her aid.
“Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself that there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another,” she read to the court and her attacker before he was sentenced.
“We have not met her after the incident, but I saw [her statement] the other day and it was very strong. Obviously, it is a great joy to have been able to help her,” Arndt said, according to The Local.
Writing on his Facebook account, Peter Jonsson said that he would not publicly comment on the case and its outcome, but recommended people read the victim impact statement.
“To me, it is unique in its form and comes as close as you can possibly get to putting words on an experience that words cannot describe,” he said.