Date posted: April 9, 2012
Tamarac Resident James Hallas was getting ready for bed on March 30th, when he had a feeling that he left his wallet in his van. He stepped outside of his Westwood 21 home just to make sure.
While outside, he saw a man (Michael Johnston) walk towards his backyard. Not knowing where the man was going, Hallas followed him. Thinking he disappeared into the night, Hallas looked again and saw the stranger with his face pressed against his daughter’s bedroom window trying to look inside. The way that Johnston walked towards the window that evening, Hallas believes he had been there before.
After the Trayvon Martin incident, I knew I had to be in control. Don’t act like a cop wanna be I told myself. – James Hallas – on the rage he felt upon discovering a peeping tom looking into his daughter’s bedroom window.
Hallas was furious, but tried to talk to Johnston in an authoritative and controlling way. However, at the time, he was shocked.
The peeping tom, in shock himself from getting caught, blamed Hallas. He even called him a pervert for catching him peeping.
“Call the police!” Hallas shouted to his oldest daughter on the other side of the window.
Hallas put his hand on Johnston’s shirt and ordered him to stay put, but Johnston hit Hallas in the neck and took off running down the street.
Hallas followed ten feet behind, so he could lead the police to him. Once near a canal, Johnston turned around to confront him physically, so Hallas grabbed him and threw him in the water. Johnston got out and started running again, only to stop and catch his breath periodically.
Hallas stayed behind him and told him he was going to make sure the police knew where he lived. Sure enough, Johnston led Hallas back to the Kingspoint condominium he shared with his parents.
You’re trespassing, I’m going to sue you! – Michael Johnston said after being followed home by Hallas.
Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested him and identified him as Michael Neil Johnston, 26, and charged him with three counts of voyeurism, one count of battery, and one count of burglary with assault.
Hallas, a Tamarac resident for over 19 years is now a hero to his three daughters. Hallas just feels like God played a big part in all of this.
“He guided me outside that night for some reason.”