A Texas father who said he witnessed his 4-year-old daughter being molested beat her alleged attacker to death with repeated punches to the head, police said Monday.
A relative of the 23-year-old father, who was not identified by local reports, said he was later remorseful for killing the suspected predator, who was also not named pending notification of his death to his family.
“It was an accident,” the young girl’s grandfather told the Victoria Advocate newspaper.
Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon said he doesn’t expect the father to be arrested in Saturday’s incident, and that no evidence so far has led investigators to doubt his version of events.
Authorities said the 47-year-old man of Gonzales, Texas, was a casual acquaintance of the father, and had been at the family’s ranch in Shiner to help take care of horses.
The alleged sexual attack took place in a pasture near a barn, and police said the father was alerted after he said he heard the girl screaming.
“In the course of trying to get her away from him, and protect her, he struck the subject several times in the head and the subject died,” Harmon said.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene and the girl was taken to a hospital, CNN reported.
She was doing “OK besides the obvious mental trauma,” Harmon said.
The man didn’t have a prior criminal record, police said.
Depending on what investigators find, a grand jury could decide to indict the father in the man’s death, although officials said he has a strong case.
“You have a right to defend your daughter,” Harmon said. “He acted in defense of his third person.”
Many Shiner residents sympathized with the family.
They “will have to deal with (the attack) the rest of their lives, no matter what happens to the father,” Mark Harabis told the Victoria Advocate. “Even if they let him go, he and his child will have to deal with that the rest of their lives.”
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I say props to you dad!!!! He shouldn't feel guilty at all, who knows how many more little girls this sicko would have molested (or had already molested). This guy did society a favor. Kudos.