Citizens who saved stabbing victim's life honored

April 14, 2011 8:24:34 PM PDT
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon held an awards ceremony Thursday in honor of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Among those honored, was a group of good Samaritans who saved the life of a young teenager who was brutally assaulted.

"You're going to hear some incredible deeds which helped save lives," said Gascon in his opening remarks

Among those being honored were a secretary, a lawyer, a financier, and a doctor. These are the good citizens who saved the life of Loren Schaller on May 19, 2007.

"As I was backing away, he kept slashing at me although I had my arms up in front of my face," recalled Loren.

Loren was 15 when she was attacked at a Twin Peak's bakery by violent parolee Scott Thomas. He stabbed her repeatedly.

Lawyer Kermit Kubitz was in the bakery. He went to Loren's aid, but Thomas began stabbing him.

"A stab in the chest up here, and then the one that punctured my lung over on the right-hand side," said Kubitz. "He left the knife in my ribs."

Financial analyst Jonas Svallin saw Kubitz stumble outside with the knife still in him.

"He pulled the knife out. The assailant grabbed it, going for the knife," said Svallin. "I kicked the knife away under a car."

Svallin chased Thomas down the street and flagged down a cop who made the arrest.

Loren almost died when her jugular vein was severed. Dr. Sang-Ick Chang happened to be in the bakery. He saved her life by stemming the bleeding.

"I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to have made a difference in Loren's life," he said.

This is the stuff heroes are made of.

"How life can change in just one second," said School secretary Beth Grace Silver who helped Chang while calling 911. "It can go from being so pleasant and so lovely to so horrific in a snap."

But on that day four years ago, good triumphed over evil. Strangers came together to do the right thing. Today, four years later, they're more like family to Loren and her parents.

"We had lots and lots of time with them to really get to know them as people," said Loren.

Loren is now enjoying life as a college student, and says life is very good.

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