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Taking the law into their own hands

5-9-2004 Florida:

People living in the North Boulevard Homes complex in Tampa consider the neighborhood tight knit.

So it should be no surprise that when children are abused, residents want to make sure it never happens again.

"You don't want a baby raped around your children, so when you find out about it, that's when you do something about it," said area resident Richard Morgan, a father of two.

Tampa Police believe Jeffrey Dennis Butler, who is now behind bars on two counts of aggravated child abuse, went into an upstairs apartment Saturday in the 900 block of West Spruce Street, where two young girls were sleeping after a slumber party.

Police reports say Butler put a pornographic movie into the VCR, then molested both girls and raped one of them.

Investigators say hours later, Butler attended a neighborhood party and acted as if nothing had happened. The incident happened at North Boulevard Homes.

When the two girls eventually spoke up about what happened, Butler took off running from the neighborhood gathering, chased by other people from the party. They caught up with him seven blocks down the street, pinning him to the ground and beating him with baseball bats before police arrived.

Butler was treated for minor injuries at Tampa General Hospital before being taken to jail. No one who took part in the beating was arrested.

Asked if the beating was wrong, Morgan replied, "Nope, personally I would have killed him, plain and simple. People like that don't deserve to be on this earth."

A criminal background check reveals Butler has no prior criminal record in Florida. ..more.. by Bay 9 News

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