A Utah man’s quick thinking and heroic actions saved his friend’s life on Saturday when they were attacked while out walking their dogs, and police are praising him for it.
A 53-year-old man and his 68-year-old female companion were taking their dogs on an early morning stroll in Moab City, down a route close to Millcreek on April 22.
They saw a man who looked to have started a bonfire in a parking lot close to the stream, and the pair told him that pitching a tent and making a campfire inside of the city limits was strictly prohibited.
The recreational walkers continued down the path, but the camper, who was identified by the Moab City Police Department as 38-year-old Alex Kensell , attacked them in an “unprovoked assault.”
Kensell, who is homeless and recently moved into the area, reportedly blasted the man with a taser, which caused him to drop to the ground, then repeatedly stabbed his female friend with a fixed blade knife.
Once he recovered from the shock, the man forced Kensell off of his friend and created a diversion that caused the attacker to pursue him in foot chase.
MCPD said that his actions “effectively kept the assailant away from his friend.”
Responding officers were able to locate the injured walkers when they heard the woman’s cries for help.
They arrested Kensell and administered medical attention to the woman on scene, until she was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.
Her injuries, which included four stab wounds and a broken sternum, were so severe that she was transferred to a regional hospital for advanced treatment.
According to MCPD’s press release about the incident, the female victim’s condition is now stable, but “she would not have survived the attack if her friend hadn’t reacted so quickly and heroically.”
“We want to recognize the heroism and bravery shown by the victim’s friend/neighbor. He has expressed the desire to remain anonymous and would request time to heal emotionally and deal with the trauma of the incident,” they wrote.
Kensell was booked into Grand County Jail and charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder, aggravated assault, and use of a dangerous weapon.
He told police he was “just trying to have a campfire,” but the two walkers made “rude comments” to him, and he attacked them because he was “tired of people messing with him.”
Kensell has a history of violence, and is currently out on probation following of felony charge of pointing a firearm in Oklahoma.
He was charged at the Seventh District Court in Grand County on April 26, and prosecutors filed a no-bail warrant request to restrict him from immediately posting bond after being booked and processed.