A Texas father beat a man to death after catching him molesting his 4-year-old daughter in a horse barn, The Houston Chronicle reports. The incident happened Saturday evening near Shiner, Texas.
Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon identified the deceased as a 47-year-old man from Gonzales, Texas. He was reported dead at the scene, however, his name will not be released until his next of kin is notified.
Harmon said the father and daughter were with several other people at the family's barn to groom and tend to the horses, according to The Chronicle. The alleged attacker was reportedly an acquaintance of the father.
The sound of the little girl's screams were later heard coming from the barn and instinctually, the father rushed to his daughter's aide. After reaching the barn, he found a man sexually assaulting his daughter – undoubtedly a dad's worst nightmare.
After pulling the attacker off of her, the father repeatedly struck the man in the head.
The young girl was taken to DeTar hospital in Victoria where doctors ran tests to determine whether sexual assault had occurred, The Houston Chronicle reports. She was eventually released.
In the aftermath, nearby residents are having a hard time feeling any sympathy for the alleged child molester.
"He got what he deserved, big time," Sonny Jaehne, a Shiner resident, told the Victoria Advocate.
Another Shiner resident Mark Harabis said he agreed with the father's action "totally."
"I would probably do worse," he said. "The family will have to deal with that the rest of their lives, no matter what happens to the father. Even if they let him go, he and his child will have to deal with that the rest of their lives."
Further, Howard Gloor, the owner of Howard's convenient store, a popular Shiner hangout spot, told The Advocate that the whole town had pretty much come to a "consensus" about the incident.
"Everybody wants to know who it is," Gloor said. "Everybody's very curious about it. A lot of people have said that he got what he had coming to him. That's been the consensus. They've been supportive of doing what needed to be done to take care of the problem."
So far, no arrests have been made. A grand jury will likely decide whether any charges will be brought against the father, whose identity has not been released in an attempt to protect the 4-year-old girl.
An autopsy on the alleged attacker is expected to be performed by the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office to establish the cause of death.
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This story has been updated.