A loving grandfather was horrified when he caught a man in his 5-year-old granddaughter’s bedroom. He quickly realized what was happening, and grandpa was about to make sure it never happened again.
Any good parent prepares their child from a young age for the dangers that strangers may pose to them. However, in focusing on the hazards outside of the home, they often fail to prepare their little ones for the threats that may come from those closest to them. Such proved to be the case where a 22-year-old man identified as Aaron Cunagin was concerned.
When a grandfather walked past his grandchildren’s bedroom in their Pennsylvania apartment, he noticed that his 5-year-old granddaughter was sitting on the lap of his daughter’s fiancé, Aaron Cunagin, as the other two children played on the floor. Although he thought the situation “was weird,” the grandfather initially brushed it off as his mind being overly suspicious. Unfortunately, he was right to be concerned.
The grandfather couldn’t shake the bad feeling, especially minutes later as the other children came to play in the living room, leaving the little girl in the bedroom with Cunagin. When it became “too quiet,” the concerned grandfather went to check on the child. His worst fear was then confirmed.
Penn Live reports that the grandfather went to check on his granddaughter only to find Cunagin with the 5-year-old girl in a corner between a bed and crib. Cunagin’s pants were down and he was exposing his genitals to the little girl, who also had her pants down and genitals exposed.
The grandpa told Middletown police that he immediately intervened, yelling out and punching Aaron Cunagin in the face with all of his might. The noise woke up the little girl’s mother, who was asleep in another room. She reportedly called the police as Cunagin pleaded for her forgiveness and claimed he had “blacked out.”
Police arrested Cunagin at the apartment and took him into custody for questioning. The suspect initially told detectives that his shorts had accidentally slid down to his knees when he stood up. He eventually changed his story, claiming that the child had pulled her pants down and that he started to feel “numb,” at which point he too pulled his pants down.
“It just went through my head. I was back and forth with myself,” Aaron Cunagin told police, according to court records. “I just felt numb. I just sat there with it in my hand.” When police asked him what “it” was, Cunagin reportedly said he was referring to his genitals. “It was just going through my head if I should really do it or not,” he said.
A professional counselor was brought in to speak to the little girl about the incident in order to carefully extract information. The child victim informed the police that this same interaction with Cunagin had occurred five times before. Cunagin has denied any prior sexual contact with the victim.
Cunagin was charged with rape of a child, indecent assault, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of a minor, and indecent exposure, the New York Post reported. He was jailed with a $150,000 cash bond, which he was unable to pay.
The grandfather has been hailed a hero for not only protecting his granddaughter but trusting his gut feeling. Had it not been for his intuition, the child would still be in the care of her alleged abuser.
Although others might not have been able to practice such restraint against their grandchild’s abuser, it’s likely that this grandfather didn’t want to face charges for using unnecessary force. His granddaughter needs him now more than ever. It’s now up to the justice system to deliver the deserved retribution.