EASTLAKE, Ohio - A local man is speaking out to the FOX 8 I-Team, defending himself for being arrested for assaulting a teen after he saw what appeared to be a child getting sexually abused.
The FOX 8 I-TEAM first reported the incident which happened Thursday night in Eastlake and included the man arrested going online with a posting of himself taking the law into his own hands
The 20-year-old, Rick Adams, says the only thing he was thinking about Thursday afternoon was saving a child he said he saw being abused.
“I kinda blacked out,” Adams said. “I saw a 17-year-old molesting a 5-year-old. I wanted to help the young boy and that was all I was thinking about was getting it stopped.”
Adams said the incident happened in his Eastlake home.
He said he walked out of the laundry room and witnessed the child being molested.
Adams said he pushed the teen off of the child, screamed for someone else in the house to call police and then assaulted the 17-year-old.
After he assaulted the teen, he posted a video on Facebook, which showed the 17-year-old bloodied and Adams asking him to tell people what he did.
“I do regret posting it on Facebook but my intent was to show people that if you touch or hurt a child this could happen to you,” Adams told Fox 8.
The video has now been removed.
Once police arrived they charged the 17-year-old with rape and Adams with felonious assault.
“It’s a very sad situation for everyone involved. Ricky walked into a horrifying situation and just blacked out as things from his past childhood immediately started haunting him,” said Jeff Cook, Adams’ uncle. “I don’t believe he should be charged. He was stopping the progress of a felony being committed on an innocent 5-year-old child.”
Adams said he has no prior criminal record and is afraid he will be sent to prison.
He says he is soon to be a father and wants to be around for his child.
Adams posted bond and is due in court next month.
Eastlake police say the matter is still under investigation and they are not able to discuss it at this time.
“The officers came in at the aftermath of a felonious assault, the injuries that were caused rose to that level and we don’t get to pick and choose what we agree, disagree, I mean, we take the facts as they are presented,” said Eastlake police Chief Larry Reik.
The department did leave a statement on the station's Facebook page saying in part, "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."