ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- They take an oath in the Army to defend our freedom.
They know harm's way will come.
But not the way it came on Tuesday afternoon for Army recruiters and war veterans Sgt. Michael Stroud and Sgt. First Class Travis Torgerson.
"I got hit from the right and went up and over the hood and I landed about fifteen feet up on the sidewalk," Stroud said recalling the SUV that struck he and Torgerson while they were in a crosswalk near their recruiting office in Roseville.
Both men were in full Army uniform and Stroud even said he looked the man driving the SUV in the eye moments before he struck them.
Police say that man might have been in a hurry as it was reported to them he was attempted to take money from people under false pretenses at a neighboring sporting goods store.
After the hit, Stroud shook it off and then rolled to look for the driver to stop.
That's when he saw the horror Torgerson was about to go through.
"The guy was speeding away and Sergeant Torgerson was trapped under the vehicle," Stroud said.
Immediately Stroud went into the office and called for his fellow soldiers to help.
"He's our brother, we are family in the Army and we all look after one another," Sgt. First Class Jeremy Knaak said.
Stroud called 911 and then he, Knaak and a third recruiter, Staff Sgt. Adam Boktor went in pursuit because they had a man down.
"We know our friend is being drug underneath a vehicle and don't know where he is at, so we got to find him," Sgt. Knaak said recalling their mindset in the moments that followed.
For over a half-mile heading west on County Road B-2 Torgerson, with a broken leg and ankle, was able to hold his body up under the frame of the car while his boot was stuck in an axel.
At some point witnesses say the 52-year-old suspect stopped the SUV and tried to kick Torgerson off the truck.
When Torgerson wasn't broken free, the suspect took off again, dragging him even farther.
When he finally was able to free himself Torgerson was tended to by witnesses until paramedics came and had to cut his uniform off to treat his wounds.
The suspect was arrested after fleeing on foot at a nearby car lot.
Harm's way isn't supposed to come like this.
Not to these guys.
"We are supposed to be safe in America; it's why we do what we do," Stroud said of the ordeal.
The suspect is in jail and could be charged criminally in this matter as soon as Thursday.
He has a lengthy criminal history according to police; 41 criminal cases have been filed against him ranging from assault and domestic abuse to drug offenses and robbery.
Torgerson remains at HCMC recovering from his injuries. His fellow soldiers say he is in good spirits and has his wife and children by his side.
Torgerson is a 20-year-active duty member of the U.S. Army.
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