Family fights off sex offender who broke into girl's room

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A family recalls the horrific moment in which they had to fight off a paroled sex offender, who broke into a San Bernardino home and sneaked into the victim's room.

A family recalls the horrific moment in which they had to fight off a paroled sex offender, who broke into their home and sneaked into the victim's room.

It's a nightmare for any parent - finding a sex offender in your little girl's bedroom.

A 12-year-old girl recalled how she was awoken by an intruder inside the room she shares with her youngest sister at a San Bernardino home on Thursday.

"I asked him a lot of times, 'Who are you?' Like, about the third time I asked him, he starts trying to go on down to his knees," she said.

The victim, whose identity was not being released, said when the man began touching her face, she banged on the walls of her room to get her parents' attention.

"The first thing my mom saw when she opened the door was his private parts because he was naked," the young girl said.

Police identified the suspect as Derek Lamont Fowler, a convicted sex offender.

They said the 30-year-old broke into the home through a back window.

When Fowler was confronted by the girl's father and brother-in-law, he started throwing punches. That's when the victim's two older sisters jumped in to help.

"At this point, we tased him down. I grabbed my pepper spray, we pepper sprayed him," the victim's older sister said.

Their mother was angry that Fowler was even allowed to be out walking the streets.

Fowler has a long criminal history. In 2010, he was convicted of sexual battery and twice convicted for failing to register as a sex offender.

He most recently was convicted of indecent exposure but had been released early on felony probation.

"This is a glaring example of the failure of the system," said Lt. Mike Madden of the San Bernardino Police Department. "We have an individual who had multiple prior arrests and convictions. He was a registered sex offender."

Police agencies were growing frustrated with the state's prison realignment laws and early release programs for non-violent offenses.

While Fowler is once again behind bars, the victim and her family don't feel safe.

"I always have it running through my mind," she said. "And it gets me scared, and it makes me feel unsafe."
Related Topics:
newssex offendersex assaultfamilyhome invasionu.s. & worldCalifornia
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