After a girl was sexually assaulted in her home, another was a victim of a man exposing himself and a 4-year-old was almost kidnapped in their neighborhood, residents of Pueblo, Colo., thought they found the suspect and decided to capture him themselves.
An angry mob chased the man and began pelting him with rocks, authorities said Monday. The 54-year-old man was later released due to lack of evidence, AP reports.
“The information officers did get [Sunday] didn't amount to probable cause for an arrest at the time," Deputy Chief Troy Davenport told the Pueblo Chieftain.
The man has since voluntarily given a DNA sample to police. He underwent a thorough background check and has no history of sex crimes. "I would say he's been cooperative with us," Davenport said.
Alex Pacheco of the American Indian Movement was part of the group who apprehended the man. They pursued him after he resembled a police description of the sex offender.
Pacheco says his group was upset that police failed to warn residents about the sexual assaults and decided to resort to vigilante behavior. The most recent crime took place on Friday when a woman reported that someone tried to kidnap her 4-year-old nephew.
“We went through the right channels in contacting the police, but there hasn’t been much response,” he said. “We can’t wait around any longer without doing something. These are children that this man is after, and we can’t let any more children get hurt by him.”