Witness recalls struggle with accused child molester


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SANDY -- There's a better picture emerging of the bystanders who jumped into action to help capture an accused child molester. The shoppers tackled Richard Randall, who is accused of assaulting a 4-year-old girl in the men's room of the Deseret Industries store in Sandy.

One bystander, who wanted KSL News to identify him only as Gabriel, says he heard the girl's mom yell for help Tuesday afternoon.

"When I got there I saw somebody was crying, some people run to the main door; so when the guy running, he throw everything out of his way," Gabriel said.

That's when Gabriel took off after the man. The chase began through the front doors and continued through the parking lot.

"Yeah, when I grab him he had more tall than me, he more strong. So when he try run again, because he try fighting, but when I grab him I put my knee in his back," Gabriel said.

In what seemed like a long time, but was really just a couple of minutes, Gabriel struggled with the man. Thankfully, he had help from two other customers.

"‘Hey!' he told me, ‘Hey, I can't breathe! I can't breathe.' I say ‘I don't care. I don't care you can't breathe," Gabriel recalled. "‘Let me stand up,' [he said]. ‘No. Uh-uh, no,' [I said]. ‘You break my back,' [he said]. ‘I don't care. You hurt somebody. I don't care if I hurt you. Sorry,' [I said]."

When Sandy police arrived, officers put Randall in handcuffs. The registered sex offender was arrested for aggravated kidnapping, rape of a child and aggravated sexual abuse of the 4-year-old girl.

Gabriel is relieved police have a suspect in custody. If Randall is found guilty, he said he hopes that Randall is severely punished.

"I hope the judge [gives him] his whole life there in jail," Gabriel said. "Every night I pray for he be there and not get out."

Richard Randall remains in the Salt Lake County Jail. Formal charges against him are expected to be filed Friday.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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