Reporting Reg Chapman
ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Two Army recruiters are recovering Wednesday after a man driving a jeep ran them over near the Rosedale Mall.
Roseville Police said 52-year-old Enrico Taylor was driving the jeep.
The recruiters were walking back to their office at the Crossroads Center when they were hit. Michael Stroud, 29, of Brooklyn Center, was tossed into the air and landed about 15 feet away.
Forty-two-year-old Travis Torgerson, of Circle Pines, was dragged underneath the car for nearly three quarters of a mile.
“It’s a little gray,” Stroud said.
Sgt. Stroud said he struggles to remember all the details of what happened after he and Torgerson approached the crosswalk near his office in Roseville.
“We saw a jeep approaching, I look over and looked at the guy, we looked at each other in the face so I thought we were good to go, so we kept walking,” he said. “The next thing you know, I’m picking myself up off the ground about 15 feet up the road. I was standing on the sidewalk. I looked up at the jeep kind of confused about what happened and I saw my partner underneath the jeep.”
Stoud said his heart sank as he watched Torgerson being dragged.
“When I last saw him, his head was at the front of the vehicle and his legs were underneath and I heard the vehicle speed up and speed away,” he said. “As I saw him speed away, I just felt this empty terrified feeling that he was going to be gone.”
Stroud sprang into action. He ran into the recruiting office to call police and then jumped in a car to find his friend.
Police said Taylor knew he hit someone and that he continued to drive even after he heard the pleas for help.
Torgerson’s foot was caught in the jeep’s undercarriage, according to police. At one point, Taylor stopped the jeep and tried to kick Torgerson loose.
“It’s kind of a joke I make — three tours overseas in combat and almost get killed in the states crossing the road,” Stroud said.
Stroud said he feels blessed that he and Torgerson survived their ordeal.
He’s thankful for the support of people around who witnessed the incident, gave police a description of the vehicle and a license plate number.
Taylor eventually ditched the vehicle near a Motel 6. Workers there became suspicious after he asked them to call for a cab so they called police.
Police say Taylor was not talking to detectives at first, but confessed once he learned the two men he hurt were not only recruiters, but also veterans of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.