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Passer-by Tackles Molester After Dozens Ignore Attacks

March 6, 1996

DALLAS (AP) _ A 38-year-old electrician jumped out of his truck and chased down a man who allegedly threw two girls to the sidewalk and assaulted them while dozens of passers-by ignored their cries for help.

``I got out of my truck and just tackled him,″ Stephene Ybarra said. ``I was just thinking that I have two daughters that age. I hit him in the ribs and hit him in the jaw and held him down until police got there.″

``I couldn’t believe no one would help little girls,″ Ybarra told The Dallas Morning News. ``That’s just sickening.″

The attacks occurred Monday in an area north of downtown known as ``Little Mexico.″

Sgt. Byron Fassett said Augustine Reyes, 21, approached a 12-year-old girl on a sidewalk. After flirting with her, he threw her to the ground and fondled her, police said.

After seeing the assault, Ybarra jumped out to help the girl. He put the girl in the truck with him and his ex-wife and sped after the suspect as he ran.

The 12-year-old told him, ``That man was touching me, and he wouldn’t let me go.″

Ybarra said as he chased the man, he saw that the same man had a 17-year-old girl on the ground and was molesting her, too.

``That’s when I jumped out of my truck and tackled him,″ said Ybarra, who held the man down while someone else called police. ``There were a lot of people out there. She was just screaming, and they didn’t do nothing. They just stood there.″

Reyes was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault. He was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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