When a Del City, Oklahoma dad discovered that his 15-year-old daughter was having inappropriate online conversations with an older man, he decided to take action. With the help of some family members, the protective father lured 33-year-old Jeremy DeWayne Gibson to the family’s backyard, and tackled to him the ground, subduing him with zip-ties.
The protective father, who requested anonymity from any news sources, told local CBS affiliate KOCO that he had used an app called Family Time to monitor his teenage daughter’s phone. He had discovered that his daughter and Gibson were sending sexually explicit messages and images to each other and that they had made plans to meet. The father immediately reported the messages to the police, but according to CBS News, he was told that the police could not do anything unless the suspect actually showed up on their property.
That was when the father took the situation into his own hands. “He had planned everything with her,” the father told KOCO, “He was ready, and we were, too.” Posing as his teenage daughter, the father set up a plan for the man to come to their home. That night, after setting up a night vision camera, the father, his nephew, and his cousin sat in wait, while the daughter’s stepmother hid in a tent. As predicted, Gibson showed up and entered the backyard, when he made his way toward the tent, the men made their move.
Video footage captured by the camera shows the three men leaping into action take down and subdue Gibson. The protective father told KOCO: “As he walked in and looked into the tent, my first nephew jumped out, my cousin jumped out after that and I came with the zip ties.” As for Gibson, according to the father, he immediately confessed to the reason he had shown up at the house. “He admitted immediately that he was there to have sex with my daughter,” The father told KOCO. When asked by CBS reporter David Begnaud if he thought someone might get hurt during the encounter, the father replied: “The thought did cross my mind, yes, very much so. But the situation outweighed those thoughts.”
Del City Police Major Jody Suit had to give the father and his family credit for their actions, telling CBS News: “They did it without harming him or leaving any bruises or marks on him.” Suit also said the family’s sting operation was “almost professional,” although added “we never encourage people to take the law into their own hands. That’s what we’re paid to take risks for.”
In speaking with Begnaud, the protective father said: “I told him that he stepped into the wrong backyard, and he messed with the wrong little girl.” The father also said that he was glad he was as involved with his daughter’s life as he was, because “If I wasn’t as involved as I am, I don’t know when I would have caught this.” He continued, saying “that scares me…not just for my children and my family but for other children and other families out there.”
Gibson was placed under arrest and charged with one count of using technology to engage in sexual communication with a minor. According to CBS News, Gibson told police that he had not intended any inappropriate interaction with the girl, but had actually gone to the house to point out the error of her ways. He was released on a $15,000 bond. According to Oklahoma law, Gibson could face a $10,000 fine and up to ten years in prison for each message he sent.