One of the Students Who Stopped Brock Turner Describes the "Horrible" Scene He Saw

"It was hard to see."

Former Stanford student Brock Turner was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman behind a dumpster on campus but was only handed a sentence of six months (opens in new tab), causing a nationwide outcry. The victim, now 23, wrote a powerful letter (opens in new tab) about her experience, in which she thanked two Swedish grad students who were riding bicycles nearby for noticing what was happening, stopping Turner from going any further, and waiting for the police to show up. 

The two students, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson (opens in new tab), were reportedly crucial to the case, because they identified the perpetrator. In her letter, the victim said she now sleeps with a drawing of two bicycles taped above her bed " to remind myself there are heroes in this story." 

Arndt told the Today show (opens in new tab) that on that night, he and fellow grad student Jonsson saw Turner on top of a partially clothed woman near a dumpster. "It seemed OK at first," Arndt said. "Then when we looked closer, Peter started noticing—and I later—that she wasn't moving. It was really horrible. It was hard to see." 

He told CBS (opens in new tab) that the woman was definitely unconscious when they saw her. "She was unconscious. The entire time. I checked her and she didn't move at all," he said.

The two students talked about what to do and asked what was going on. Turner stood up and ran, Jonsson caught him, and Arndt checked on the victim. "Then we basically were restraining him until the police came," Arndt told the Today show. "I think it happened on instinct for us. I never thought about it twice and I'm glad I did it."

Arndt told the Swedish news outlet Expressen (opens in new tab) that he and Jonsson had read the letter (opens in new tab) the victim wrote that thanked them for their help. "We have not met her after the incident, but I saw it the other day and it was very strong," he said in Swedish. "Obviously, it is a great joy to be able to help her." 

Jonsson posted on Facebook on Wednesday that he would not be commenting about the trial or the case. But he asked everyone interested to read the victim's full letter. "[It] comes as close as you can possibly get to putting words on an experience that words cannot describe," he said.

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Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.