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Wheelchair-Bound Vigilante Faces Charges

7-21-2011 Massachusetts:

Man Says He Was Protecting Girl From Alleged Abuser

BOSTON -- A wheelchair-bound Martha's Vineyard man is fighting to stay out of jail.

Frank Hebert, 57, is accused of striking an alleged pedophile with a bat inside a store earlier this year.

Even though child protection advocates are hailing Hebert as a hero, prosecutors aren't backing off on charges that could land him in jail for 10 years.

Hebert said he was trying to protect his granddaughter when he hit his girlfriend's son-in-law, Joshua Hardy, with a bat in February. Hebert said the girl told him Hardy, 28, had been assaulting the girl.

"He had been molesting her," Hebert said.

Hebert called state police. He said they decided to have Hardy come to Hebert's store, thinking he was there to pick up the girl. When inside, Hebert was supposed to call police. During the time they were inside the store, Hebert confronted Hardy.

"He turned white. After about two minutes, he said, 'OK, fine. I did it,'" Hebert said.

Hebert said Hardy tried to leave and a scuffle ensued.

"I hit him like a 2-year-old. I mean, I don't have any more power than that," Hebert said.

Hebert was charged with assault. Hardy said he would not testify against Hebert, but the Plymouth District Attorney’s Office refused to drop the case.

"If this is what they are after -- God help them," Hebert said. ..Source.. by WCVB

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