Witness detains suspect accused of groping girl at Beaverton par - KPTV - FOX 12

Witness detains suspect accused of groping girl at Beaverton park

Posted: Updated: Feb 10, 2016 09:20 AM
Robert Deputy detained a suspect accused of groping a girl until police arrived. Robert Deputy detained a suspect accused of groping a girl until police arrived.
Dakota Michael Vernon, jail booking photo Dakota Michael Vernon, jail booking photo
BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

A Beaverton man was arrested after police said he attacked and groped a teenage girl in public, and a witness is credited with detaining the suspect until police arrived. 

It happened Saturday afternoon on a path near Southwest Davis Road and 160th Avenue, across from Powerline Park.

Robert Deputy was walking with his family when he noticed 23-year-old Dakota Vernon. Right away, Deputy said he got a strange vibe so he kept a close eye on Vernon.

Deputy felt like Vernon was following them, so he called 911. And just as he was talking to a dispatcher, he says Vernon switched his focus to a 15-year-old girl and grabbed her.

“I seen him run up and grab her right behind the waist,” said Deputy. “It was pretty violent. She went left to right at first. The backpack went up, she screamed.”

Deputy said he yelled at Vernon to stop. The girl ran off and Deputy ordered Vernon to get on the ground.

“It took about three or four times and he kept trying to get up a couple times," Deputy said. "I just told him that bad things were going to happen to him pretty much if he got up."

Deputy says the young victim thanked him for his help and he’s just relieved she wasn’t hurt.

Police think Vernon has done something like this before. In fact, investigators said a 14-year-old girl reported a suspicious man in the same area just one day earlier. Officials believe it was Vernon.

Deputy wonders if he could’ve been stopped sooner.

“If you’re a victim of a crime, call the police. Because somebody else you know, will eventually come along. They could be victimized by the same person and you could’ve just changed it by picking up the phone," he said. 

Vernon has no previous criminal history. In November, the case was dismissed by a judge without prejudice, meaning it could be tried again at a later date. 

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