A woman who fended off an alleged predator in Fair Haven caught him attacking another young woman—and helped the cops arrest him.
It happened last Friday afternoon in the vicinity of the Farnam Neighborhood House.
The alleged attacker, who is 31 years old, six-foot-one and 230 pounds, entered the Fillmore Street after-school rec center between 1 and 1:30 p.m.
He approached a female staffer and started acting funny, so she threatened to call police unless he left.
He left. He walked to the porch of a grey house across the street.
A woman pulled up to pick up her son from an after-school program at Farnam. (Her son had gone to Farnam after having had a half-day at school.)
The man walked up to the woman’s car several times; she waved him away. She finally rolled down the window a bit to tell him to leave her alone, she told the Independent. (She asked to remain anonymous.)
“I want to get in with you,” he told her, asking her to come with her behind the house. She told him to get lost.
The man returned across the street and started talking to two women. The mom left the car and went inside to get her son.
They returned outside. She put the son in the car. The son said he wanted a piece of pizza from Farnam. The woman went back inside to get him one.
On her way back out, the man approached her again and touched her breast, the woman said. She fended him off.
At that point Frank Redente, a longtime Farnam staffer, was pulling up. He said he saw the man attack the woman. “She swung her arm and said, ‘Get the fuck out of here!’” Redente said. Redente said he rushed over to “grab him and push him out of the way.”
The man walked away. Redente called 911.
The mom, meanwhile, hopped in the car to follow the man. She also called the police. She gave them his description. She updated them on his movements.
The woman followed the man onto Pine Street, where he accosted an 18-year-old women coming home from school, according to top Fair Haven cop Sgt. Herb Johnson. The man put his hand in her shirt as the woman following him in the car yelled at him to scram. At that point Rivera and Escobar were running toward the scene.
The man ran into a backyard. Rivera and Escobar caught him and arrested him.
Johnson praised the mom’s courage and her cooperation with the police, and he praised the officers’ quick work.
“It was a group effort,” Johnson said. “It shows what we can do when we all work together.”