CHICAGO -- Michael D. Stoner, 52, has seen a lot of pain in the 11 years he has been a Cook County deputy sheriff.
Children shot. Adults stabbed. Elderly people who are alone when they take their last breath.
But he'd never seen anything that shocked him as much as the sight of a 13-year-old boy running through an alley screaming for help.
"He had no clothes on. He was running and screaming, 'This guy is trying to rape me,' " Stoner told me Wednesday.
Stoner was off duty at the time. He and a contractor were making repairs on the garage of a building he owns in the 2100 block of West 52nd Street in Englewood.
He immediately grabbed the boy and put him in his van.
'This has been hell'
"I gave him one of the T-shirts I had been selling at the Taste of Chicago to cover himself. We stopped working and started running toward the area where the boy said the guy had taken him."
The location was an abandoned building nearby. Stoner nabbed the suspect when he climbed out of a first-floor window that was unboarded.
"I announced that I was the sheriff and put him up on the wall and handcuffed him," Stoner said.
"I yelled for my sister to call 911 and held him until the Chicago Police and paramedics arrived on the scene."
"These guys rape these kids and then kill them," Stoner said. "You see it all the time. Thank God that I was there for this young man."
Chicago Police officials identified the boy's alleged attacker as James Beamon, a 37-year-old convicted felon who was paroled a little more than a month ago.
Beamon was sentenced to 25 years in prison on 1990 murder and attempted murder charges. He was paroled June 26 after serving 18 years.
"This has been hell," said the victim's mother during a telephone interview Thursday.
Because the victim is a juvenile, to protect his privacy, I am not identifying him or his mother.
"I had no idea [Beamon] was a criminal until I got into the back of that police car," the mother said. "He was very soft-spoken, very polite.
"When the police pulled up his name, I said, 'Oh my God.' Why is he back out on the street? How did that happen? I am just thankful to Officer Stoner. My son told me he thought the man was going to kill him."
'He was hysterical'
The victim's mother had known Beamon for about a month. When he asked her to let her son go with him to help him move out of his mother's home, she reluctantly agreed.
"He wanted to go because he needed to earn money for school supplies," she said. "I didn't want him to go, but I let him go, and this is what happened. You can't trust anyone these days. You don't know what they are capable of."
The boy managed to escape by convincing his attacker that he had to go to the bathroom. Instead, he jumped out of a window and ran down the alley.
"He was so terrified that even after I had Beamon in handcuffs, the boy begged me not to let the man near him. He was hysterical," Stoner said.
Stoner, who is trying to sell his property, said there are about five or six abandoned buildings in the area.
"These buildings need to be torn down or boarded up," he said. "The window of the two-flat where the boy was attacked wasn't even boarded up."
Beamon was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault in connection with the attack and could face up to 30 years in prison if he is convicted.
He was denied bond. His next hearing date is Aug. 11.
Stoner praised the quick response of the Chicago Police Department; officers were on the scene within minutes after the 911 call went out.
Wanted to help mom
Apparently, the 13-year-old victim went with Beamon because he wanted to help his single mother by earning his own money.
"I told the young man and I told his mother your son doesn't have to worry about school supplies," Stoner said.
Nearly half of the 3,982 registered sex offenders living in the Chicago area reside in black neighborhoods, according to a recent article published by the Chicago Defender.
It was a miracle that Stoner was at the right place at the right time to nab this alleged sex offender before he could carry out another heinous act.