Some people are comparing the San Francisco parents accused of killing their daughter's pimp with the Texas father who killed a man he caught molesting his young daughter by calling both of them vigilantes. But I think one case has nothing to do with the other. 

In the San Francisco case, Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado allegedly killed Calvin Sneed, a 22-year-old gang member, because they believed he was responsible for pimping their 17-year-old daughter after she ran away from home to be with him. It seems like the girl's parents were desperate after seeking help from police and adding her to several missing and exploited children registers did nothing to get her back. 

Read more in ¿Qué más?: What would you do if you caught a man sexually abusing your daughter?

While I can't even begin to imagine how much these parents were suffering, taking the law into their own hands was the wrong thing to do. This didn't happen in the heat of the moment. These parents apparently plotted to kill Sneed. In fact, according to prosecutors, they had already attempted to kill him once before, but Sneed was only injured from the shattered glass. 

This case is nothing like that of the Texas father who caught another man in the act of molesting his 4-year-old daughter. This father was overtaken by what he saw being done to his daughter and acted instinctively, just like most parents would.

Now, I'm not saying that it's right for anybody to take justice into their own hands, although I probably would've acted very similar to the Texas father. What I am saying is that there's a big difference between premeditated murder and killing somebody in self-defense. 

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In the San Francisco case, both Gilton and Mercado are being held on $2-million bail each. I hope, for their family's sake, their daughter leaves the pimping world. But I can't imagine what life will be like now for her and her three brothers.

What would you do to try to stop the man you believed was pimping your daughter? Were these parents actions justified? Please leave us a comment with your opinion.

Image via Tex Texin/flickr

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a first-grader and a preschooler. She loves languages, traveling and good food – especially if it's cooked by someone else.

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