Eastlake, OH – A 20-year-old father-to-be was arrested after he attacked a 17-year-old boy who was molesting his own five-year-old brother.
Eastlake police responded to a call about an assault at a home in the 1400-block of E. 363rd Street on Thursday, WKYC reported.
Richard "Rick" Adams told Blue Lives Matter that he was over at his girlfriend's father's house doing laundry at about 3 p.m. on March 21 when he walked in on a horrific sight.
"I was doing laundry and I walked in on a 17 year old with a five year old's pants down to his ankles, and [the 17 year old] had [the five year old's] genitals in his mouth," Adams said, sounding choked up.
Both the teenager and his five-year-old victim are younger brothers of Adams' girlfriend, he told Blue Lives Matter.
Adams and his girlfriend have their own baby on the way, due in four months.
He said that when he caught the 17-year-old boy with the little boy's penis in his mouth, he just blacked out and started beating him.
"It was just a complete blackout after I walked into the situation," Adams said.
He said he remembered yelling "call the cops" then it's all fuzzy.
Adams said he was triggered by incidents that occurred in his childhood. All he remembered was thinking he needed to get the older boy off the younger boy.
During the beating, Adams posted a video on his Facebook page trying to get the rapist to confess on camera, according to WJW. Facebook later took the video down.
Adams said the goal at the time he filmed the Facebook Live was to shame the boy and teach a lesson to other predators out there "don't be touching kids."
He told Blue Lives Matter that the five-year-old boy told him his older brother had done the same thing to him the night before, and the 17 year old confirmed it.
The five-year-old is now in the protective custody of Child Services while an investigation is conducted, Adams said.
Responding officers booked Adams for felonious assault and arrested the 17-year-old boy for rape.
The 17-year-old remains in custody charged as a juvenile with felony rape and gross sexual imposition.
Members of the community expressed outrage on social media that Adams, who was rescuing the child, had been arrested.
“This headline is BS,” @justtaffy tweeted. “A 17 year old was found actively raping a 5 year old and and [sic] the 20 year old beat the crap out of him. Either there's a lot more to this story or the wrong man is portrayed as the villain in this story. #WhatsUpWithThis.”
"Really? You arrest the hero? Man charged with assaulting boy he caught sexually assaulting 5-year-old in Eastlake,” @MicheleRoberts9 raged in another tweet.
Adams works for his uncle, Jeff Cook, at his fencing business.
Cook described Adams as “a hard-working kid” who was trying to do the right thing when the altercation occurred.
“I guess everybody would handle the situation differently – it was a lesson learned for him,” Cook told Blue Lives Matter. “What he did - it was a tough situation. Because yeah, the kid was 17 but… he just walked into it and completely blacked out. And he just had stuff from his past as a kid and seeing that brought it back for him and kinda played a big role in the way he reacted.”
Adams is facing charges of second-degree felonious assault, Cook said in a GoFundMe page that he set up to help his nephew with legal fees.
“Ricky without thinking pushed the 17yr old off the 5yr old and beat him pretty bad,” Cook explained on the fundraising page. “Ricky blacked out as flash backs from his childhood were hitting him. He now faces a Felony of the 2nd degree carrying 2-8 years in prison. He needs lake counties best to defend him. Unfortunately his job is seasonal and hasn't returned back to work yet. Only gets enough while laid off to pay needed bills. Anything will help him.”
The GoFundMe had raised more than $3,100 to assist with Adams’ legal defense by early Saturday evening.
Police said the investigation was ongoing and have released no further details about the incident, WKYC reported.