A father and son who caught a child molester in their home went medieval in dishing out justice. As a result, both may now face jail time.
Jose Rivas (pictured left above) discovered that an acquaintance visiting his apartment in Montgomery Village, Maryland had touched the four-year-old daughter of his fiance, so he, his father Carlos Rivas-Menjivar (pictured right above), and a third man grabbed a machete and kitchen knives and went after the molester.
The three men chased the suspected molester, Douglas Rodriguez-Ramirez, out of the apartment as police arrived. The molester received a large gash to his head when authorities found him, and the father and son were arrested. A third man who helped the pair chase the molester fled and has not been identified.
On Sunday, February 11, around 7:30 a.m. residents along Lost Knife Circle called 911 to report the sounds of a loud domestic disturbance coming from a second-floor apartment. When officers arrived, they spotted Douglas Rodriguez-Ramirez, 29, standing in the Cider Mill Apartment complex parking lot. He had a deep, bloody gash to the crown of his head.
Rodriguez-Ramirez stated that following a night of “heavy drinking” he awoke to find three male acquaintances armed with knives. Those acquaintances are listed in court documents as Jose Rivas, 18, and Carlos Rivas-Menjivar, 41. The third individual had left the apartment by the time police arrived and has not since been identified.
When officers knocked on the apartment door, a woman explained Rodriguez-Ramirez had inappropriately touched her four-year-old daughter. Rivas, who is engaged to the girl’s mother, allegedly became incensed and armed himself with a machete, which was stored in the living room. Rivas also enlisted the assistance of his father, Rivas-Menjivar, and the unidentified third man, both equipped with kitchen knives.
Investigators explain the trio of vexed vigilantes chased Rodriguez-Ramirez out of the apartment, slashing his head open in the process.
While many believe the child molester attackers should get a medal, Rivas and Rivas-Menjivar are now facing significant jail time for their actions.
Last week, Rivas, 18, and Rivas-Menjivar, 41, were both formally indicted in Montgomery County Circuit Court on a charge with first-degree assault. The count carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Police have also charged Rodriguez-Ramirez with two counts of third-degree sex offense, which could result in up to 20 years in prison. According to court paperwork, Rodriguez-Ramirez snuck into the four-year-old victim’s bedroom while she slept, removed her pajama pants and inappropriately touched her. The little girl’s two sisters were also sleeping in the bedroom, but not sexually assaulted.
Sources explain Rivas-Menjivar and Rodriguez-Ramirez were both born in El Salvador. Their current immigration status was not immediately known.
The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is representing all three men, who remain in custody. The agency has a longstanding policy of not speaking about pending criminal cases with members of the press.