Neighbors come to aid of screaming woman

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SAN DIEGO – Residents in Ocean Beach were being hailed heroes after helping a rape victim and aiding in the capture of the suspect.

A woman walking along the 4800 block of Long Branch Street Sunday at 10:30 p.m. was knocked down and physically assaulted by a man, said San Diego police Lt. Chuck Kaye.

OB Sex Assault Suspect ArrestedDaniel Laverty was one of the first to respond to the woman yelling.

“I heard the screaming,” said Laverty. “I ran through the back and found her just tumbled up in her own clothes, screaming for help.”

While Laverty helped her, two other neighbors went after the suspect who was slowing down his pace.

“Some girls from down the street had seen him pull her back here,” said Laverty. “He had tripped, fallen and scraped his knees trying to get away from her.  She was after him, like a pit bull.”

The suspect was identified as 25-year-old Richard Butts. He ran right into the waiting arms of the police at Robb Field, according to Kaye.

A neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, said the victim was shaken up.

“We just held her, she was shaking so badly,” she said. “She just needed to have a female with her, so I just sat there with her.”

Laverty said the area has experienced a rash of sex crimes in recent months.

“This is the seventh or eighth sexual, physical assault based crime in the past year,” said Laverty.  “People around here are sick of it. They’re not going to take it anymore.”

It all comes down to being good neighbors.

“Get to know your neighbors. It’s just safer,” Laverty said.

Richard Butts has been booked into jail and faces charges of suspicion of kidnapping, sexual assault, among other charges.  He is being held without bail pending his Wednesday arraignment.

Police said the sex crimes unit is investigating.


  • Charlie Kelly

    I don't know if that's the rapist or a neighbor in the picture. All I know is, I wouldn't want an ambiguous picture of myself standing next to a cop under the words "rape suspect"

  • Frank Reynolds

    I've heard of at least 5 similar incidents in OB the past few months. This is the guy. If you're a victim, please come forward to put this POS away.

    Lucky he was arrested before he got some old school justice. DICK BUTTS…. his name will be fitting in prison.

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