Two Swedish graduate students, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson, were biking through the Stanford University campus one night in January 2015 when they came across Brock Turner and his victim.
The two friends had a gut feeling that something was wrong when they saw Turner, a Stanford freshman swimmer, and an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Turner, now 20, was consequently convicted on three charges of sexual assault and sentenced to six-months prison time by California judge Aaron Persky.
The two Swedish bikers are now being hailed as heroes. Arndt, a math and engineering teaching assistant and student at Stanford, recounted the night’s events to Swedish news outlet Expressen:
“We saw that she was not moving, while he was moving a lot. So we stopped and thought, ‘This is very strange.’”
Jonsson, who had previously studied economics at Uppsala University in Sweden, was pursuing a masters of science degree in management science and engineering from Stanford. Jonsson approached Turner and Arndt followed. Arndt continued:
“When he got up we saw that she still wasn’t moving at all, so we walked up and asked something like, ‘What are you doing?’”
According to Arndt, the three exchanged a few lines before Turner bolted off in the other direction. Jonsson was quick in pursuit and managed to tackle Turner to the ground a few feet away. Meanwhile, Arndt checked on the unconscious victim who “lay perfectly still.”
The two Ph.D students restrained the then 19-year-old Turner and waited for police to arrive. Though they had never met the victim, Jonsson and Arndt played a crucial part in the case by providing police reports and testimony during the trial.
The victim wrote a powerful letter addressing Turner, in which she mentions Arndt and Jonsson. She wrote:
“Next in the story, two Swedes on bicycles approached you and you ran. When they tackled you why didn’t say, “Stop! Everything’s okay, go ask her, she’s right over there, she’ll tell you.” I mean you had just asked for my consent, right? I was awake, right? When the policeman arrived and interviewed the evil Swede who tackled you, he was crying so hard he couldn’t speak because of what he’d seen.”
At the end of her letter she thanked the two men for tackling Turner and finding her. She wrote:
“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 there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.”
Jonsson posted the victim’s letter on his Facebook page on Tuesday, but declined to make a public comment on the outcome of trial. He also thanked everyone for their encouragement and support. He wrote:
“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.”