The incident took place shortly before 9pm in a forest outside of Munkfors while two berry pickers from Uzbekistan were picking mushrooms and berries in the woods adjacent to a gravel road.
“They saw a car coming toward their vehicle, honking its horn,” Värmland County police spokesperson Tommy Sjöberg told The Local on Monday afternoon.
The men then watched in disbelief as the approaching car slammed into their car, which was parked on the side of the road.
“One of the berry pickers went over to move the car but then the other car tried to run him down, forcing him to take cover in the bushes,” said Sjöberg.
The 42-year-old man behind the wheel of the car proceeded to ram the berry pickers’ car several more times before driving away.
The berry pickers then returned to their work for about 30 minutes until the 42-year-old returned.
“He came back in a large truck and once again started ramming the berry pickers’ car,” said Sjöberg.
“Then he got out and fastened a huge chain to the bumper and proceeded to drag the car about 700 metres down the road.”
In one final act of aggression, the 42-year-old then unhitched the berry pickers’ car and pushed it into the ditch with his truck.
“The vehicle sustained major damage,” said Sjöberg.
The stunned berry pickers then called police, who apprehended the 42-year-old later on Sunday night on suspicions of attempted aggravated assault and destruction of property.
According to Sjöberg, police were at a loss to explain what prompted the truck driver to launch his attack on the berry pickers.
“He’s still being interrogated as we speak,” he said.
“We don’t really have any idea yet why he went after the berry pickers. It’s too early to tell.”
He added that, while there have been isolated reports of berry picker harassment, the actions of the 42-year-old are unprecedented in the area.
“I’ve never heard of anyone being so aggressive against berry pickers,” said Sjöberg.