MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- On Sunday afternoon in Modesto, two cousins were going about their day until a woman’s cries for help could not be ignored.
“We were working and we just heard screaming and my mom said to look out the window and I did. And that’s when I seen the guy start beating on the girl,” said Alex Jovanni Farias Galarza.
The Galarzas saw a man beating a woman with his fists then with a pipe at the intersection of 6th and K streets.
“He had a pipe, so I’m pretty sure he was trying to really hurt her," said Rodolfo Ramon Galarza.
The teens knew they had to step in.
“It boiled up my blood and just, like, I had to do something," Rodolfo said.
“The way I was taught was not to hit a female, respect females,” Alex told FOX40. “Just the abusive part of hitting someone else wasn’t right."
First, they dialed 911 to alert police and then the 17-year-olds approached the suspect, later identified as 34-year-old Joshua Lauk of Modesto.
“We told the guy to back off and to stop hitting her,” Alex said.
Lauk took off but the Galarzas followed, even managing to capture and detain the man until officers arrived.
“It makes me feel good because good thing it didn’t escalate more than it already was,” Alex told FOX40.
Shortly after police arrested Lauk for domestic violence, officers made sure the teens’ bravery did not go unnoticed. The department honored them with Challenge Coins.
“It felt really, really cool, to be honest. I was really tired at the time because that was a lot of running but I just felt joyful,” Rodolfo said. “We were just acting like kids after because like we were just jumping up and down. We were like, ‘Dude, we really did that.’”
Modesto police say Lauk has been charged with domestic violence.