Robert HardingIt isn't often when violence is justified, but Des Moines, Iowa mom Holly Pullen did what she had to do to protect her daughter ... and her community. Pullen's 13-year-old daughter Samantha was playing with some friends near a neighborhood pool when she saw a scraggly 48-year-old Robert Harding leering about and staring at the kids. Harding told the young teen that he wanted to marry her and tried to lure her into a back alley. Thankfully, things didn't go his way.
Samantha ran into her house, told her mom what happened, and the rest is Mama-Bear-meets-would-be-molester history. Pullen tried reasoning with the man, then laid into him in the worst way when he said what he wanted to do to her daughter.
According to the police report, Harding repeatedly told Pullen that he wanted to marry her daughter and sex her. Pullen tried telling him that the girl he liked was only 13, but that didn't make a difference -- Harding was persistent that they should be together.
And that's when things got dark, for Harding that is. Pullen unleashed her fury on him. She punched him in the face until her husband and friends saw what was happening and went after Harding, as well. He ended up needing to be hospitalized before being taken to the county jail due to his sustained injuries.
Pullen says she would do it all over again if she had to, and I don't blame her. I imagine her instinct to protect took over after hearing Harding say he wanted to have sex with her young girl.
You mess with the bull, you're going to get the horns. It's really fortunate that Samantha knew that the right thing to do was tell her mom about the creepy man -- thank goodness she didn't go down that alley. And I think it's also a good thing that Pullen was ready to take action -- what if she'd done nothing and Harding had gotten away?
The police agree that he's very dangerous. He's been charged with enticing a minor under 16 and is being held on $15,000 bond.
How would you have handled this situation?
Photo via Des Moines Police Department
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