Richard Adams says he walked in on a 17-year-old allegedly trying to rape a 5-year-old boy and attacked the teen to stop him from continuing the sexual assault against the child.
But Adams, 20, was arrested and charged with felony assault and people are outraged.
The incident occurred last Thursday in Eastlake, Ohio.
The Eastlake Police Department took to Facebook to ask the community to reserve judgment on its actions.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 17-Year-Old Boy Had a 5-Year-Old Boy’s Penis in His Mouth, Adams Said & After Getting the Teen Away From the Child, Adams Says he Beat the Alleged Assailant
‘I was just doing laundry and I walked out and there was a 17-year-old who had a 5-year-old’s pants down to his ankles and he had the 5-year-old’s penis inside of his mouth,” Adams told local media.
He shouted for someone to call 911 but took matter into his own hands immediately.
Adams said that after he got the teenager away from the kindergarten age boy, he proceeded to attack the teen.
2. Adams, Who’d Rescued the Child From the Assault, Was Told by the Little Boy That the Child Had Been Raped by the Teen the Night Before as Well
Adams told local media that after he rescued the child he asked him about what had happened. The boy said the teen had touched him pointing to his genitals and said it happened the night before, which would have been Wednesday, as well.
It’s not clear what the relationship is between the boy and the teen.
Adams said he “kinda just snapped.”
And then he posted to Facebook his interrogation of the teen. In the background, a wailing dog can be heard and the cries of the teenager who allegedly raped the child.
3. In the Audio From the Facebook Post, Adams Can be Heard Demanding Answers
“What did you do? You molest a 5-year-old? Huh? Did I just catch you molest a 5-year-old?” The teen can be heard whimpering in the background.
Adams said he feels “sorry” for posting the video, now since removed.
“I should not have posted the video,” adding he has remorse about posting his interaction with the alleged teen rapist but said his goal is to “stop all the offenders and child predators that are out there.”
Police arrived and arrested Adams for assault and the unnamed teen on a rape charge.
4. The Community & Beyond Found Adams’ Arrest & Felony Charge an Outrage & a GoFundMe Has Raised $30,000 For Adams’ Legal Fees
“We have received numerous emails, phone calls and communications in which people have expressed their emotions and frustrations with the recent case that we had involving the investigation of a rape of a 5-year-old and the assault of the accused 17-year-old male. The 20-year-old male accused of assaulting the 17-year-old has been out on a personal bond since the day after the incident and has been assigned a court date.
“We truly understand the interest, passion and concerns with this type of case. 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 the 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.
“To attack people within the system to achieve a certain outcome is not what justice is about. We appreciate the impact that this story has had on the community and beyond but we expect people to be civil in expressing their disagreement and/or support of what has and will take place.”
But that response from police was not accepted by the more than 1,500 people who have commented and expressed outrage on the Eastlake Police Facebook page.
“The 17 year old is lucky he was only assaulted!!! I would of done a lot more than assault him especially if that was my 5 year old !!!! I do not agree with the fact the 20 year old should of been charged…..detained maybe and once the police sorted everything out he should of been released !!!”
“I support our men and women in blue, but this is bullshit.”
Adams’ uncle began a GoFundMe to raise money for his nephew’s legal fees. More than $30,00 has been raised.
5. A Petition is Calling For Police to Drop the Charges Against Adams
A Care2 petition called “We the people demand that Eastlake Ohio drop all assault charges against Richard Adams,” was begun on Sunday.
“Richard Adams walked in on someone molesting a 5-year-old boy and beat the hell out of the child rapist.
Now they are charging him with assault. This is a ridiculous charge …this child rapist is lucky all he got was a beating!! Richard should be cleared of all charges as he was protecting a child. Charging him with a crime will only deter people from taking action against these predators. Please join me and demand they drop the charges.”
The petition has around 1,300 signatures.
A signer said, “I am a sexual abuse and rape survivor. This man was stopping a crime! I don’t care how. Not everyone gets someone to stop such a crime while it’s happening. Should he have just watched until the police got there? The poor child was unable to stop it himself and I’m sure he’s grateful to this man for stepping in!”
Another signer wrote, “I have been a victim as well. I am also a mother of 7 children, if anyone hurts a child, It hurts my heart to no end! This child of 5 yrs old will be forever scarred! Thank God Mr. Adams came in when he did and stopped him! I’m sure he was temporarily out of his mind with rage of the crime the young boy was suffering, Suffering that will never go away, I can attest to that. But please, release Mr. Adams, he was in defense mode for that young boy.”