Vigilante dad confronts suspected child predators after posing as teen girl online

A father of two is on a mission to make communities safer for kids by targeting possible predators who prey on teenage girls. But to do it, he's having to pose as a young girl himself.

Tony Blas oversees an interstate citizens group known as "Team Loyalty Makes You Family."

The group brings together concerned moms and other volunteers who are posting ads on social media, dating and messaging apps, even gaming chatrooms, claiming to be women in their early 20s.

"And as soon as we get someone who responds back, our next message to them is, 'Hey, listen, I messed up my age. I'm really 13, 14, 15.' And we wait for that and if they continue to talk, we continue to listen and wait for them to make their moves," Blas said.

The men apparently show up in public places expecting to meet a young girl. Instead, Blas shows up to confront them, and it is all captured on Facebook Live.

When video of Blas confronting a man who was allegedly trying to meet up with a 15-year-old girl went viral, parents and coworkers recognized 44-year-old high school math teacher Jonathan Castell and called police.

Castell has since been suspended by the school while they investigate. He is facing charges for attempting to endanger the welfare of a child.

"I believe he should be eradicated from the school district," Blas said. "I don't believe he should be around children of any age."

While many commend Blas, some criticize his tactics, saying what's doing is very dangerous.

"There's always the potential the predator could have a weapon or react in a violent way. And not having a sufficiently trained team to deal with the situation could not only create physical problems for the team or the suspect, but community nearby as well," expert Steve Gomez says.

Blas insists he's working as a parent, not a vigilante. He also says he's proud to spark positive change.

"Grab your child's phone. Look through their internet and see who they're talking to, because you never know," Blas said. "You never know."
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