NEWTON COUNTY, GEORGIA — A man was held at gunpoint by a father after he is said to have exposed himself to a group of children at a park, then running off and eventually jumping into a creek in an attempt to escape.
The father, Tae Lovelace, explained to Johnson he told the man to leave several times before he grabbed his gun and chased the man. He was able to hold the man while another family member called police.
“Not only did he come back naked he ran directly up to my kids, and the mother of my child and they were frightened,” Lovelace said.
He said there were children at the playground while he and his family were at the park to feed the less fortunate through his church.
“I asked him, ‘Would you please leave the scene you’re causing trouble. You don’t even have on any clothes,'” Lovelace said.
The man left, but then came back and headed straight for the kids. The man was identified as 21-year-old Josten Meeler, and he was arrested when police arrived.
Watch the encounter below:
Something important to note is what Lovelace was faced with when police arrived. Having his firearm in his hand when they arrived, he put himself in a bad situation.
Lovelace told reporters that a responding officer had his firearm pointed at him and told him to drop the gun. If you’re in a situation such as this, it’s best to let the police handle things when they get there. That includes, probably most importantly, that your firearm is no longer in your hands when they arrive. Of course at this time, Lovelace was still trying to detain the suspect and may have not seen or heard police arrive, so it makes things a little more difficult.
The grandmother of Lovelace called police to report the incident. That’s a perfect opportunity to tell the person on the phone the description of not only the suspect, but of Lovelace as well. It’s important for police to have as much information as possible when they arrive. They still may have a firearm pointed in your direction, but at least they have a little more information as to who the bad guy is, and who the good guy is.
Meeler was charged with child molestation, public indecency, and being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.