Neighbors and Gardea speak up about incident

Posted at 12:54 AM, Apr 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-17 03:54:24-04

Earlier today 23 ABC was able to speak with suspect Antonio Gardea who is being held on several sexual assault charges, but tonight we give you his side of the story and why neighbors still can't believe this happened in their neighborhood.

Thursday sheriff's responded to a call on the 10000 block of South Union Avenue for a 'subject who was trespassing'.

But Gardea said he does not remember how he got to that neighborhood or why he was on that side of town.

“I thought somebody else lived there, which they did. My friend lived there a long time ago, so I don't know what I was doing there,” said Gardea.

After entering the residence, Gardea says he remembers being in the bathroom and then hearing the curtain open.

He says the two little girls scared him and kissed one of them on the forehead as an apology, he then walked out before running into the mom.

“She goes stay right there. I'm going to call the cops and she goes don't go anywhere, I'm calling the cops. I said 'sure' and I sit downstairs and I didn't go anywhere, I sit right there waiting for the guys to get there,” said Gardea.

Gardea continued to say he does not know why he was over there, but says he's not guilty of his charges.

“And I got two kids that I would never, no sir, in any time, way or form,” said Gardea.

Now, after hearing the charges Gardea is facing, neighbors like Alicia Busane and Arturo Rodriguez can't believe that this happened in their neighborhood.

Saying something like this is very unusual.

“It's quiet this place and I haven't heard nothing bad about this place and I feel safety in my place,” said Busane.

“Well yeah, it brings a little bit more awareness on the particular area,” said Rodriguez.

But rodriguez said innocent or not -- this happened too close to home -- where kids and adults should always feel safe.

“You see kids running around this neighborhood all day long and all night long too. So nobody is aware of those situations until something happens like this,” said Rodriguez.

Gardea's bail has been set at more than a million dollars and is due in court for his next hearing on Monday afternoon.