A group called the American Indian Movement in Pueblo said police weren’t doing enough to solve recent attacks.
Residents took matters into their own hands and chased down a man they thought was a child molester, pelting him with rocks and leaving him with a bloody face, police in Colorado said earlier this week.
The man was questioned and released by Pueblo police, who said there was no evidence linking the man to earlier attacks in the neighborhood and that he had no background of sexual assault.
Residents had formed a group called the American Indian Movement and were patrolling their neighborhoods, saying cops weren’t doing enough to find a man suspected of two sexual acts involving children.
“Our lives our in danger,” member Rudy Reddog said at a local rally on Monday.
On Sunday, a mob chased a 54-year-old man it considered suspicious.
Pursuers surrounded him and punched him in the face, police Capt. Tom Rummel said. Responding officers shoved the man into a police car and whisked him to the station for questioning. He was not seriously injured.
“The primary officer on the scene said get him out of here,” Rummel said, according to the Pueblo Chieftain.
One incident involved the sexual assault of a girl in her home. In the other, authorities said, a man with the same description exposed himself to another child.
“We went through the right channels in contacting the police, but there hasn’t been much response,” said group member Alex Pacheco.
“We can’t wait around any longer without doing something. These are children that this man is after, and we can’t let any more children get hurt by him.”
Rummel said police had notified the media and posted warnings on social media about the attacks.
The man chased by the mob declined to press charges, Rummel said.
“He said folks were reacting to a bad situation, and he told the officer, ‘I don’t want to go that route,’” Rummel said. “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
His name was not released. Rummel said he cooperated with officers and gave them a DNA sample, which ruled him out as a suspect. ..Source.. by Deborah Hastings