Mom Praises Good Samaritans for Helping Son - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mom Praises Good Samaritans for Helping Son

By Al Pefley email

West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX)

A group of three Good Samaritans stopped to help a little boy who was being sexually assaulted by a homeless man behind a vacant house last Sunday.

Now we're hearing from one of the Good Samaritans. "I was in the right place at the right time," Devin Coates of West Palm Beach says.

Coates, a 21 year old single dad who's studying to be a cook,  was walking along  train tracks near Pinewood Avenue Sunday March 8 with two other men, when they looked over into a backyard and saw a homeless man on top of a 12 year old child, sexually molesting him.  "My first reaction was like I can't believe this is goin' on. You know? I couldn't believe my eyes at first," Coates said.

Coates and the other two guys shouted at the homeless man, who then got off the boy.

"You ran over and held the guy down on the ground? Yeah, like snatched him off the little boy and then I did what I had to do," Coates said.

The three basically kept the homeless guy,  50 year old Richard Jones,  from running away until police could get there and arrest him.  "He stayed there. He didn't know what to do. He was in shock himself. He didn't know what to do. He didn't try to run? No," Coates said.

The mother of the 12 year old victim says Devin and the others deserve a lot of credit for what they did.  We agreed not to identify her.

"I think they're heroes. Because if they haven't come, if they didn't come by when they did my son would probably be dead right now," she told us. 

"I don't look at myself as no hero. I look at myself you know, as the same person that just did somethin' to help a younger person out," Coates said.

Devin says he and the others didn't hesitate for a second when they saw the youngster in trouble, and he says he got involved because he has a 2 year old son of his own, and he would hope that somebody would do the same for his child.   Jones is behind bars on $250,000 bond.

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