Police in Ohio are facing public backlash after arresting a man for beating up a teen who he allegedly caught in the act of molesting a 5-year-old boy.
Richard Adams, 20, was charged with felonious assault after he physically attacked a 17-year-old who he said was molesting a young child in the living room of an Ohio home.
Adams said he walked into the room and witnessed the teen on top of the child, who had his pants down around his ankles, according to local station WEWS. He yelled for someone to call police, but then put an immediate stop to the attack.
“I didn’t just call the cops and let it pursue,” he told the station. “I stepped into action and I stopped it.”
Adams said he reacted so strongly because the incident hit close to home and said he had a similar experience when he was a child.
He told WOIO he just “snapped” and began attacking the teen, but now worries for his own future.
“I am scared. I have a kid on the way and I do want to be there for my child’s birth and that’s the only thing that’s worrying me right now,” he told the station. “I almost want to cry saying it.”
After the incident, Adams initially posted a video to Facebook of the teen covered in blood as he was being questioned about the alleged molestation. He has since taken the video down and said he regretted making the post.
Many in the community praised Adams for his efforts, calling him a hero.
“Give the guy a medal for saving an innocent 5-year-old from getting raped,” one person wrote in response to a Facebook post by Eastlake Police.
“Spin it any way you want to, charging this guy with ANYTHING is a disgrace and you should be ashamed of yourselves,” another wrote.
Eastlake Police addressed the “numerous emails, phone calls and communications” it had received since the arrest in the post, saying that Adams had been out on bond since the day the incident occurred.
“We truly understand the interest, passion and concerns with this type of case,” they wrote. “It has been processed by the court and will continue to go through the system. Most of the people within our police departments, courts and entire justice system have families of their own and the men and women are diligently working to ensure that everything is done correctly so that justice is served.”
They also noted that “to attack people within the system to achieve a certain outcome is not what justice is about” and asked that the public remain “civil” in their comments.
The 17-year-old in the case has been charged with rape.
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