Alleged rapist Caleb Heaton received a stern lesson in community vigilance, according to a recent report from the CBC.
Witnesses caught the 25-year-old inside a Vancouver woman’s home. The woman was covered in blood, but her screams drew the attention of a Good Samaritan nearby.
The Good Samaritan, who wasn’t formally named by police, accosted Heaton and was quickly joined by a team of like-minded citizens, who proceeded to rough up the alleged attacker, resulting in the image you see above.
Heaton was said to have prior trouble with the law, and that’s only expected to get worse as he is facing charges of aggravated sexual assault, breaking and entering, robbery, and unlawful confinement.
However, those words do not do justice to the sheer savagery and brutality that witnesses and medical authorities have revealed.
The woman, who was not named in the report, is recovering, but Caleb Heaton allegedly used both a knife and a rock in the act of sexually assaulting her, and according to a report from the Globe and Mail, he removed two of her fingers in the attack.
“She was very brave and smart and strong. She fought back. She made noise. And help came in the form of some amazing heroic neighbours who showed a lot of courage, who stepped up, stopped this horrible crime, and probably saved this young woman’s life,” said Shelley Sullivan, a neighbor who started a GoFundMe account for the victim.
Police described the woman’s rescuers as “heroes.”
Jim Chu, Vancouver Police Chief, said his team is in the middle of investigating the incident and seeing if it links to other cases of sexual assault in the area.
“We have investigative teams that are putting together the strongest case we can against the suspect we have in custody,” he said. “And we’re working hard on the westside assault to see if there’s a linkage and we’re also examining some other cases across Canada.”
One of the witnesses to the crime, who did not wish to share his name with the Globe and Mail, had this to say.
“I’m trying to wash away those thoughts with pride in the community for stepping up, living somewhere that people don’t ignore such things and they’re looking out for each other, and [willing] to step up to right wrongs rather than being passive bystanders.”
It isn’t clear what punishments Caleb Heaton will face if convicted, but what do you think, readers? Did he have intent to kill, or should that even matter when imposing a sentence?