Instead of going to the police, an Oklahoma father decided to take matters into his own hands when his 16-year-old daughter showed him suggestive text messages her youth pastor, eight years her senior, had been sending her. The father, now in jail, insists he was trying to protect his daughter when he physically attacked the man, who later needed brain surgery.
Perhaps inspired by the television series "To Catch a Predator," Jermaine Clemons of Tulsa, Okla., planned with his daughter to confront the youth pastor, who happened to live only a block away, over the texts he allegedly had been sending the teen about being "legal" and not too young for a relationship with him.
Clemons, 35, told local news station KOTV that he became infuriated after reading the text messages.
"I went through her texts, getting more mad with every text I read," he said, adding that he decided to take over for his daughter in responding to the texts.
The furious father, who said he had made it a priority in teaching his six children about predators, told the unidentified youth pastor that he (or his 16-year-old daughter) would be home alone on the night of Saturday, Jan. 11. The pastor reportedly walked just a block to get to the Clemons' home and arrived near midnight.
"I walked into my house and seen him sitting on the couch and I asked him, 'Who are you? Who are you here for?'" said Clemons. "He said, 'I'm here for your daughter.' I said, 'You know how old she is? How old are you?'"
The youth pastor reportedly said he was 17, and Clemons called him out, pointing to the text messages in which he allegedly revealed his true age amid suggestions that the man's teen daughter was "totally legal" for him.
A physical altercation eventually ensued, with Clemons reportedly telling the news station that he used "some brass knuckles that were on a table" to beat the man.
Clemons said after he called the police to "come get this predator out of [his] house," he watched officers put the man in handcuffs and place him in an ambulance. However, he then found himself in handcuffs as well, and charged on a complaint of assault with a deadly weapon.
According to the police report, Clemons had walked into the house and hit the man from behind "three to five times with his right hand with metal brass knuckles on his right hand." The youth pastor ended up needing brain surgery but was expected to recover.
"What dad wouldn't have done it? I mean, what dad wouldn't have done it? I'm here for my kids. If I can't protect my kids, who can?" said Clemons. He was being held on $25,000 bond, while authorities have suggested that the youth pastor's texts would likely be investigated.