A Texas father caught a man sexually assaulting his 4-year-old daughter and punched him in the head repeatedly, killing him, according to CNN.
The incident occured during a social gathering. The 4-year-old girl went inside the family’s home in Shiner while other members of the family were tending to horses outside, writes The Huff Post.
The girl was then heard screaming a short time later. The father returned to the house, caught the man in the act, and stopped him by striking him in the head several times, said Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon.
The alleged abuser was known for his horse-grooming abilities, according to the authorities. Sheriff’s deputies in Texas say they won’t file charges against a father.
“You have a right to defend your daughter. He acted in defense of his third person. Once the investigation is completed we will submit it to the district attorney who then submits it to the grand jury, who will decide if they will indict him,” Harmon said.
The man was pronounced dead on the scene, while the girl was taken to a hospital in Victoria, Texas, for examinations before being released.
She was “ok, besides the obvious mental trauma” of the incident, the sheriff said. Harmon said the case remains under investigation, reports Victoria Advocate.
The name of the deceased man, a 47-year-old from Gonzales, was not revealed because his relatives have not yet been notified, Harmon said.
Authorities have not identified neither the girl nor her father. The dead man’s body was taken to Travis County for an autopsy.
According to Lavaca County Precinct Judge Alene Lyons, a preliminary autopsy report indicated the victim “died from blunt-force head and neck injuries.”
“It will take six weeks to get the full report back because they also did a toxicology report,” Lyons said.
The father was reportedly “very remorseful” about the death and said he did not know the alleged abuser would die of his injuries.
A grand jury will have to decide whether charges will be brought against the father.
However, residents of the Lavaca County town were largely in support of the father, informs Daily Mail, saying the victim deserved it.
Sonny Jaehne, a Shiner native, said: “He got what he deserved, big time.”
Mark Harabis reiterated this: “I agree with him totally. I would probably do worse.”
He continued: “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,” he said.