Freshman witnesses Braunstein arrest - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Freshman witnesses Braunstein arrest

Freshman Wesley Gifford closed out his semester at the University of Memphis as a witness to a violent scene.

He was heading back to his dorm to move his belongings to a new home when he came upon the police trying to nab a rape suspect.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said. "He had his gun as he was out of the car following the guy down the street. We didn't know what was going on. He pepper sprayed him, guy kept walking like nothing was going on."

Then, the sidewalk he uses daily became the scene of some jaw-dropping moments.

He says the suspect made some strange motions.

"He grabbed himself. We didn't know what happened if he got shot or something. Then we realized when he brought his hand up here, he had stabbed himself in the neck."

Gifford then watched the man fall to the sidewalk. He says he has seen crime around campus, but this was different.

"Just basic break-ins and car thefts, that's just usual in Memphis, but this kind of stuff, it's national. That's big stuff."

Luckily, school was out for the Christmas holiday so there were very few students around to witness the scene. But, the freshman says it is an image he will take with him to the end of his days.

"Stuff you think you see in movies happens in real life."

In the end, Gifford's impressed the system worked.

"People talk about America's Most Wanted and Cops like it's just some ambulance chasing thing, but no, it actually worked out in this case."

Gifford says he can handle the psychological impact of what he saw. In fact, he says it will give him better perspective as he pursues his political science degree.

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