According to UTPD Sgt. Charles Bonnet, the students who overpowered 22-year-old Chenxi Deng after he used a fork to stab graduate student Li You in the nose last week were gutsy, but trying to be the hero isn’t always sensible.
“We’re not going to take a stance saying everyone should get physically involved if you see something happening.” Bonnet said. “We leave that up to an individual’s morality, their own physical fitness. If you see something happening — if it means making a phone call, that’s what it means. These individuals felt comfortable subduing this guy, and it worked out in this case, but it might not always.”
Bonnet said the students acted heroically.
“I don’t think there’s any other way to describe their actions,” Bonnet said. “The main point is that we’re all in this together in terms of campus safety. Whether its reported crimes or suspicious activities, we want to encourage a spirit of cooperation. This is just one way that manifested itself, but we’re not saying it’s the best way or the right way.”
Electrical engineering senior Shangheng Wu was one of several witnesses named in the police affidavit. Although Wu was not involved in the struggle to overwhelm Deng, he said he witnessed the moment firsthand.
“I heard a girl yelling continuously and I turned around,” Wu said. “A white guy just ran to the assailant immediately and the assailant was tackled down to the ground. The white guy restrained the assailant and kept him on the ground, yelling that ‘What the fuck are you doing? You just stabbed a girl!’ The other witnesses held the assailant’s feet and helped keep him on the floor.”
According to the police affidavit, You had four visible puncture wounds on the left side of her nose and abrasions near her left eye, as well as a possible
Hongjiang Li, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student who knows the victim personally, said she is getting better.
“All I can say about the victim is that she’s recovering,” Li said. “She doesn’t want this to be a public topic anymore.”
According to Bonnet, Deng followed the victim from China in order to re-kindle a romantic relationship. The police affidavit said Deng was auditing classes that would put him in close contact with the victim.
Non-UT students are virtually unrestricted in registering to audit classes and only require an instructor’s signature and $20.
Deng will be in court on Oct. 9. He is charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, under the category of dating violence, which is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Deng’s attorney, Peter Bloodworth, declined to comment on the case.