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A California father caught a convicted sex offender in his child’s bedroom last week then tackled and restrained him with duct tape until authorities arrived, according to police.
Daniel Diaz, 39, is facing child endangerment, peeping, and prowling charges after he broke into a family’s home in Stanislaus County.
Authorities said a California homeowner spotted Diaz prowling outside his home around 5 a.m. on July 6. Shortly thereafter, Diaz allegedly forced himself inside the home and the bedroom of a 5-year-old girl. The father of the child, who wasn’t named by investigators, then pinned Diaz down outside the home until deputies arrived.
“The father and other family members subdued this individual and they detained him by duct-taping him,” Erich Layton, a public information officer for the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office told Oxygen.com on Tuesday. “They duct-taped his hand and held onto him until law enforcement got there.”
Surveillance footage captured the confrontation, according to officials. No one was injured in the incident.
“Everybody is happy... the father, the family members, were aware and able to catch him before something did happen,” Layton added.
Diaz is a known sex offender, according to law enforcement. In 2009, he was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape. The incident involved a victim who was developmentally delayed, the Turlock Journal reported. He was released from prison in 2018.
“That’s very concerning, more so for [her] to be a child, and so young,” Layton said. “We don’t know his intent being in that house or in her room specifically. But we do the facts: He had a prior history of being in a residence and sexually assaulting somebody — somewhere he didn’t belong. Your mind starts to go to those places with that history.”
Diaz was also convicted of battery on a custodial officer in 2020. He’s violated parole on two separate occasions this year, the publication reported.
“I was pretty scared because I thought the man would’ve taken and kidnapped her,” the girl's mother, Martha Zepeda, told CBS Sacramento.
The family said they first saw Diaz peering into the young child’s room before he broke into the home.
“He went and knocked the door, he tried to open the door, peeking through the window, trying to see and he was showing his private parts around the windows,” Zepeda told reporters via translation through her other daughter. “The man turned on the lights and that’s when my sister woke up and she got scared.”
Neighborhood residents were also rattled by the incident.
“It’s really sad that people are outside doing things like that,” a neighbor named Erica told CBS Sacramento. “We’re girls and we didn’t know if it was going to happen to us. It could’ve been us.”
Diaz is being held on a $350,000 bond at a Stanislaus County detention center, according to online jail records. Any attorney information wasn’t immediately available on Tuesday.
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