Couple confronts man accused of following their daughter

KATY, Texas -- A Texas family wants the world to know how an everyday shopping trip to a department store turned into a potential stalking incident.

Police say the man involved even admitted he went too far.

For Marina Hernandez, every car that drives through her neighborhood is now suspect.

"This can happen to anybody, it's not just in the movies, it's real," she warned.

Hernandez says a man was caught following her 24-year-old daughter last Saturday.

"I'm terrified to think of what could have happened," said Hernandez.

It was her husband who first noticed a car parked in an empty cul-de-sac near their home.

"He was parked right there facing south, my husband said. When she drove to the stop sign... he followed her out the neighborhood," Hernandez recalled.

She and her husband were quick to follow, driving behind the two, heading down I-10 toward H-E-B.

"Then he turned into the H-E-B parking lot with Samantha. At that point, my heart started racing, I was like, 'There is no way.'"

Hernandez says she wasn't afraid to confront him in the store, suspecting he had been watching their home. Then she says he admitted to watching her daughter much earlier in the day.

"Then that's when he said JCPenny. And that's when I really lost, I said, 'You've been following us since JCPenny? And you went to my house and you sat there for three hours?' He's like 'Yeah, but I'm sorry. I won't do it again, I'm sorry I'm sorry.'"

Hernandez said the man said her daughter was very attractive to him, telling her she looked familiar.

She snapped pictures of the man and his car as he ran away. The family reported him to Katy police.

Thanks to the license plate, they were able to find him at work. Investigators say he voluntarily came in and confessed.

"He admitted to everything, I just couldn't believe it," Hernandez said.

He even wrote an apology letter to the family, but they say it isn't enough.

"That letter doesn't mean anything to me, he shouldn't have done it to begin with."

Investigators say the incident did not meet the threshold for a stalking charge, which requires the suspect to commit the act more than once.

They say the 37-year-old from Fulshear has no criminal history.

Hernandez doesn't think his lack of criminal record means he's innocent.

"Somebody who sits out there for three hours does not have good intentions. And I don't believe that was his first time doing it."

Katy police want to warn the public, you should never follow someone who you believe is acting suspicious.

In this case, they say getting the man's license plate number was important, but ask you to not confront someone yourself.
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stalking
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