Roseville police have a man in custody who has admitted to hitting two Army recruiters in a crosswalk, dragging one for nearly a mile. One of the men who was hit spoke with FOX 9 about his harrowing experience.
The dragged recruiter -- 42-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Travis Torgerson, of Circle Pines -- remains in the intensive care unit of HCMC. The second -- 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Stroud, of Brooklyn Park -- was treated at the scene and released.
The hit-and-run took place at about 1:40 p.m. on Monday while the servicemen were walking in the crosswalk, returning to work after lunch. Stroud told FOX 9 News he even made eye-contact with 52-year-old Enrico Taylor and thought there was an understanding that it was OK for them to continue to cross.
"I looked at the guy in the eyes and we saw each other, so I thought we were good to walk," Stroud recalled.
Taylor kept driving, hitting both men with his Jeep Grand Cherokee. Stroud said he was struck on his side, and although he was launched over the top of the SUV, he landed on his feet.
"He hit us right here by this grate, and I landed over here on the sidewalk somehow," he said.
Immediately, he called for help after he saw Torgerson was lodged underneath.
"I thought Sgt. Torgerson was going to die," Stroud admitted.
Stroud and another colleague, Staff Sgt. Adam Boktor, even went after the suspect in their own cars.
"It felt very surreal. I was very confused and I just tried to make sure we went and got him," Stroud said. "Other than that, I tried not to think too much about it because none of it made sense to me at the time -- and it still really doesn't."
Taylor stopped at the Motel 6 in a panic. Knowing the cops were on his tail, he called for a cab. Just after he tried to flee, Boktor and a hotel worker spotted him.
"You know, we all reacted in the way we normally would as soldiers," Boktor reflected. "This is what we do. We're put in situations where we are the underdog and we have to figure out a way in order to come out on top."
Police caught up with him at Wally McCarthy's Cadillac dealership next to the motel. Now, Stroud says he's ready to move on.
"I don't foresee this changing anything about what I do on a daily basis or changing my life," he said. "It was an unfortunate incident. These things happen every day in America."
Looking back, they say that response was second nature and they're happy Torgerson survived and is now recovering.
"He's doing well. It's going to be a long road to recovery, but he will recover," Stroud said.
Torgerson is currently in satisfactory condition after undergoing surgery on Monday. He is recovering from a broken leg and now has a plate in his ankle.
"He's frustrated; he's very angry about the whole event," Stroud relayed.
All the recruiters told FOX 9 News they wanted to thank all the witnesses who responded calmly and helped get a description of the suspect, saying if it weren't for the civilian tips and the police response, Taylor may not have been caught as quickly as he was.
"The whole ordeal was done in less than 30 minutes," Stroud said. "Sgt. Torgerson was on his way to the emergency room and the suspect was in custody. It speaks volumes about the community here in Roseville."
Meanwhile, Taylor remains in police custody and is expected to be charged by tomorrow afternoon. Roseville police believe he was trying to swindle people in the Best Buy parking lot and they're asking anyone who feels they may have been targeted by Taylor to give them a call.