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Mesa dad defends kids against man with knife

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 18:52:58-04

A Mesa man defended a group of neighborhood children against a man with a knife at a Mesa park.

Court records show that a man, who was drinking in the park, forced a child at knife point to drink a beer. A neighborhood father confronted and captured the man.

On April 9 several neighborhood children were walking through Rancho Del Mar Park in Mesa, near Arizona Avenue and Guadalupe Road, when they saw a man drinking and smoking under a tree. 

The man, later identified as 34-year-old Michael Scott Butler, asked the children if he cold follow them home. The children declined. Police say that's when Butler handed a beer to one of the children and told him to drink it. The child refused, and Butler allegedly pulled out a knife and held it to they boy's throat, again demanding that he drink the beer.

The 13-year-old victim complied and Butler released him. The children ran and contacted one of their father's at a nearby house.

Witnesses say when the father confronted Butler, he reached into his back pocket lunging toward the dad.

The dad acted quickly and hit Butler with a baton. He wrestled Butler to the ground and held him there until police arrived. 

Butler reportedly admitted to police that he was drinking in the park, but denied pulling the knife on the kids. Police did find a knife matching the description given to them by the kids, in Butler's back pocket.

Butler is facing charges of assault, aggravated assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.