Parents who kill or maim to protect their kids: Would you?


Mt Lemmon bear/Ryn Gargulinski

Parents have a natural instinct to protect their children.

Mama bears will maim – or even kill – anyone who nears their cubs.

And a Tucson dad reportedly stabbed two men after he heard one of them sexually assaulted his daughter, according to an announcement from the Tucson Police Department.

While mama bears usually don’t end up in jail, Tucson dad Alejandro Ruiz, 36, was arrested after the June 5 stabbing of two men.

Alejandro Ruiz/TPD photo

Alejandro Ruiz/TPD photo

Ruiz reportedly heard his 16-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by “an adult male” while she was at a June 4 gathering at the guy’s house on West District Street, near South Sixth Avenue.

So Ruiz allegedly breaks into the guy’s house the next morning, stabbing both the 25-year-old guy and the guy’s 41-year-old uncle.

Both the sexual assault suspect and his uncle survived the stabbings, and Ruiz was quickly picked up by cops after he fled the scene.

Ruiz now faces charges of two counts of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and aggravated assault with serious physical injury as well as one count of first-degree burglary. We’re guessing the latter is for breaking in the guy’s house.

Taking the law into our own hands is not really recommended. The justice system is supposed to take care of that. But rage, revenge and a parent’s natural instinct to protect his children are apt to override such recommendations.

And we still have to ask one question – Was it worth it?

Perhaps the visceral act of plunging a “dangerous weapon” into someone who hurt your child outweighs the lawful course of action, which doesn’t always guarantee the proverbial justice will be done. Perhaps avenging a wrong done to your child is worth any prison time.

Daniel M. Renteria/TPD photo

Daniel M. Renteria/TPD photo

A similar situation went down in March, when a Tucson dad Daniel Renteria, 27, reportedly shot and killed Richard Rue Jr., 40, and James J. Marschinke, 49, while the two were sitting in their front yard in the 5300 block of East 25th Street.

Marschinke is accused of sexually molesting Renteria’s 3-year-old son.

So far Renteria has been indicted for two counts of manslaughter, rather than first-degree murder, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star, after grand jurors heard about the molestation accusations.

Sounds like these jurors agree that parents who take the law into their own hands to protect their children should get a bit of leeway.



What do you think?

How far would you go to protect your children?

Would you kill or stab someone who molested them?

Would you let the justice system handle it?

Do these dads deserve jail time – or applause?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, death, gross stuff, life, Police/fire/law and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Parents who kill or maim to protect their kids: Would you?

  1. azmouse says:

    I would do anything to protect my kids and although I understand why these men did what they did, I still can’t condone it.  You have to hope the justice system will handle the job.

    These men are now away from their families not able to be supportive emotionally or financially.

    • Rynski says:

      very good point, azmouse, about the men now being away from their families.
      it seems only in movies do those who seek ‘justified’ revenge get away with it.
      i don’t have kids, but can understand why these guys did what they did – i’m not sure if i’d give them applause but i DO see where they were coming from.
      hoping the justice system will handle things is sadly often a gamble .

      • azmouse says:

        But your dogs are your children and if  you saw someone torturing or hurting Sawyer and he couldn’t protect himself, I know you’d become a crazed person even you might on recognize in order to save him.
        I think that’s what comes over parents when they see or even hear something bad has happened.

      • Rynski says:

        you’re right – ‘crazed’ may be an understatement – hahah.
        def. agree that emotion/rage/etc. takes over – and then we get that horrible feeling in the pit of our stomachs. yuck!

  2. JoeS says:

    While I don’t have all the facts in these cases,  I would likely not vote to convict on what I know at this moment.  

    And since immigration is such a hot topic I will just let everyone know Ruiz has an ICE “hold” on him….and thats a fact.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, joeS, for bringing immigration into the fray…wouldn’t want to have a post without it – hahahhaha.
      of course the question is hypothetical  – bare bones info is not really a good way to convict. am interested, however, in people’s reactions and their own feelings on the topic.

  3. jerry says:

    First let me say yes I would kill, Protect , for my Child if I knew without a doubt  that danger was present. The issue with this is the mama bear attacks at that moment when  in fact knows that danger is present. There is way too much gray area here with “heard.  The dad is lucky he didn’t get shot by these guys as a burglar. Then what good would he be to his child. The Uncle who may have had nothing to do with this was/ may have been wrongly hurt. The big issue is the Justice System has fail many of its citizens ( to lengthy to much room for pleaing down a crime) and seem as if criminals are more protected. This is why citizens take matter into their own hands. Let’s say this guy really did assault this young girl, It would take month of investigation and  lots of stress for this girl and her family, the lawyer would question her character and try to turn it on her (very sad). Then a few months of trial back and forth and finally  a plea that would result in this guy doing may be a few days in jail and some counseling( after a year). Not mention the thousands of dollar it would cost tax payers.

  4. superchunk says:

    Absolutely. If I was absolutely certain someone raped/molested my child, I would go to jail with the comfort of knowing that person could not harm anyone again. That is one line that cannot be crossed. My children are under my protection and I would die to ensure their safety.

    • Rynski says:

      i wonder if i would do the same thing – if any jail time is worth the satisfaction – thanks for chiming in, superchunk.
      your kids are in protective hands, for sure!

  5. koreyk says:

    There is a huge difference between engaging in violence to prevent impending harm and violence as a means of exacting revenge.

    • Rynski says:

      good point, koreyk – would you engage in either/or?

      • azmouse says:

        Very good point and very different circumstances. We can’t undo any harm that’s already come to our kids, but we can cause harm during the course of preventing anything from happening.

      • Rynski says:

        revenge is such an ugly thing – but again, it can fall into that overcome with craziness/rage category.

      • koreyk says:

        Most definitely the former.  I find it terrifying to try imagine what kind of evil would cause me to engage in the latter. 

      • Rynski says:

        eek! your answer just gave me chills – maybe because ‘that kind of evil’ that would merit revenge may really be out there.
        thanks for response!

  6. Dom says:

    Superchunk, you are so full of it. I do believe that you would indeed take the law into your own hands but not as a means to keep the individual from doing harm to someone else. You would do it for “REVENGE”!! And, you know that is the wrong answer so you attempt to make yourself into a hero. COME ON MAN!!!!!!!

  7. mrb says:

    I hope I never have to find out what I might do if someone hurts my children.

  8. Anonymous Chick says:

    I have to say I blame neither of these two because I surely would do the same.  I think the courts should show some true leniency on their behalf.  It’s kind of sick how are system merits more time for people like this when child molesters and rapists get off so easily!  Our system truly, truly is BROKE and in need of a major overhaul.

    • Rynski says:

      i agree, anonymous chick – i get annoyed, too (to put it mildly) when i see petty slaps on the wrist as punishment for some heinous crimes – or some who wear gloves go unpunished altogether.
      i was glad to hear of some leniency, so far at least, with the indictment on renteria.

  9. fraser007 says:

    I would do it but I would have made sure that victims could never know it was me. The Mafia does it that way, we should learn from them. To in the head, make sure they are dead. None of this stabbing and leaving live criminals.

    In any case, please put me on the jury!

    • Rynski says:

      i was thinking along similar lines….even if not thinking SERIOUSLY about it, playing with the idea just the same…
      …there are some benefits to having lived for so long in brooklyn, that’s for sure…

  10. radmax says:

    Hi Rynski! Ah duhnno…awful skimpy details, as per ongoing investigation protocol. I’d agree that protection would be a given, while vendetta would be last recourse after a breakdown in the justice system.
    To see some dirtbag free as a lark after causing physical and or emotional trauma to my daughter…well let’s just say I hope for their sake I never have to face that much rage.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax!
      yes, skimpy details du jour – but also agree with your premise on protection and (maybe) revenge.
      i, too, hope no one ever has to know your rage if anyone was cruel to your daughter – i hear skulls can be QUITE nasty! hahah.
      p.s. ‘free as a lark’ is a cool term.

      • ado1 says:

        There has to be significant immediate danger to justify the use of deadly force.  These guys had the law on their side and should have followed the procedure of reporting it the the police,  and letting the justice system work.   That being said,  I think I would have great difficulty voting for a felony conviction(Rather some aggravated type of high misdemeanor) ,  given the fact that I can’t say with any certainty I would not have done the same thing,  given the same set of circumstances with a member of my family.  I quite possibly would not be operating with full reasoning ability had my daughter experienced the same.  I’m guessing  a defense of some type of diminished capacity will be accepted by the juries in these cases.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out when presented to a jury of their peers.

      • Rynski says:

        thanks for input, ado1.
        it is an interesting one to ponder, for sure. i agree, such a scenario is likely to knock anyone’s “full reasoning” out of their heads.

  11. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Rynski: If taking the law into your own hands is such a noble and brave gesture, maybe when Danny Boy is released from his 30-day sentence to his cheering thongs, he can help those poor unfortunates who find themselves in the same boat, as it were, as he did, but lack the guts to be ‘God’s Messenger of Death,’ and do God’s bidding.
    How does the name ‘Drive-Bys-R-Us’ sound to you as his new business name?
    Let’s face it. It’s a win-win situation. Danny Boy, the unemployable ex-con gets a job, and the world is rid of the child molesters. It’s a 2-Fer!
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

    • Rynski says:

      you know, if i didn’t know you had been a cop, i would swear you went to business school! hahaha.

      • Ferraribubba says:

        Hey Rynski: Remember, even when I was in high School, I was running various ‘businesses at school.
        There was the ‘Official F.U.H.S. Freshman Pass’ business, the Fullerton Junior Achievers’ OTB business, and the Hunt Foods ID Card that said that you were 21 years-old business, among others.
        Not to mention the blank draft cards that I was printing until the FBI came snooping around one day and ended that little $10 a piece enterprise.
        Making book was the most fun, and I learned the ropes from my uncle Wilber, who was working as a cook at Smokey Joe’s Cafe up in Hollywood and helping Mickey Cohen with one of his bookie Joints in his spare time.
        All was going well for me until the mother of one of my marks, a sophomore, asked him how his lunch was that day? He told her that he didn’t eat, because he had lost all his lunch money to Hilser when his horse ran out of the money in the 6th race at Hollywood Park.
        And, as Paul Harvey sez, You know the rest of the story!
        I thought that all newspaper people started out this way . . .
        Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

      • Rynski says:

        ha! on second thought, who needs business school when ferrari bubba’s around!
        nah, my newspaper start was not as economically beneficial – i started out walking around nyc with a tape recorder and recording folks on the sly….(which i do NOT do anymore…but some people are still surprised when something they say or do ends up in one of my columns – hahhaha)….

  12. SC says:

    Damn right I would do anything to protect my kids!!! The justice system does nothing but slap those sick freaks on the hand! Seriously making them register as a sex offender isn’t going to stop them from doing it again! Take a child innocents away, you deserve the death penalty! The justice system is quick to put someone behind bars for killing another person but when someone does something to a child (that cannot defend themselves) gets off with basically a warning, they should get the worst possible punishment!

  13. JLSC520 says:

    You are damned right I would murder/maim/mutilate someone over my children. These sick freaks who touch little kids are never going to stop. You can’t rehabilitate someone who has a sick fetish on touching children. I say it’s best to just kill them (death penalty), hell torture em while your at it, you really think if they do time & get out they aren’t gonna do it again? What then? Anyone defending a child molester needs to seriously reevaluate themselves and search deep inside to figure out just why they’d give a sh!t about some sick freak.

  14. Tere Springer says:

    Danger was not there in any way, shape or form.  Mother Teresa was there to help both. 
    Bottom Line: Greed surpassed Human Life for the protection of the possesions of the notorious pillow case…

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