This story by RNZ.co.nz is republished with permission.
A teenager who was stabbed more than 16 times by her ex-partner has reunited with the three strangers who saved her.
Micah Shannon Santos attacked Crystal Angel Tupou with a carving knife on Anzac Ave in central Auckland on 22 November 2018.
The premeditated stabbing came after the pair broke up and was only stopped after three strangers – Steve Smith, Daniel Coombe and Walker Hunt – ran to help.
Police said the trio “undoubtedly” saved Tupou’s life by stopping the attack and administering immediate first aid.
She has now reunited with the three men and thanked them for helping her.
Police have shared a video of Tupou talking about their relationship and urging others to take action if alarm bells ring.
“There were signs but I chose to see the good side of him, I always look at the good side, but I knew that one day it would just get out of hand.”
The officer in charge of the case, Detective Tim Johnston, said the offender would have continued the attack if the witnesses hadn’t intervened.
“On behalf of the police, I’d really like to thank those three witnesses for what they did.
“They didn’t hesitate to rush towards Crystal who was being attacked with a knife and they put their own safety at risk. Their actions were nothing short of heroic.”
One of the witnesses, Steve Smith, said it was an emotional moment being reunited with Crystal.
“When I first saw her she was helpless on the ground in the fetal position trying to protect herself and it broke my heart to see her like that,” he said
“But to see her now, to have come through that, alive and happy and as well as she can be … it’s beautiful. It’s all we could have ever wished for.”
Tupou said the trio saved her life.
“There’s no way I’d ever be able to repay them but I hope a big thank you would be enough, and not only that but I want everyone to know that they’ve played a big part in getting me here, because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here and alive today.”
Santos was jailed for six years for the attack after pleading guilty to attempted murder.
Where to get help:
Women’s Refuge: (0800 733 843)
It’s Not OK (0800 456 450)
Shine: 0508 744 633
Victim Support: 0800 650 654
HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): be 04 801 6655 – 0
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.