This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," November 24, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALISYN CAMEROTA, GUEST HOST: A father takes justice into his own hands. After four men allegedly robbed Robert O'Neal at gunpoint and threatened to rape his daughters, the New Jersey man chased them down in his SUV, hitting and killing one of the men.
Robert O'Neal joins us now in New York, along with his two daughters, Ashley and Lavata. Thank you all for being here.
Mr. O'Neal, I want to start with you and what happened on this past Sunday night. Let's just go through it. You returned home from the movies. You parked your car in the driveway. Your daughters went into the house. You went back to the car to get your wallet. And is that when four suspects surrounded you?
ROBERT O'NEAL, CHASED DOWN AND KILLED HIS ATTACKER: Correct. And put a gun in my face, threatened to kill me and rape my daughters.
CAMEROTA: And what did do you at that point?
ROBERT O'NEAL: Well, I let them rifle my pockets. And while they were busy looking through my personal effects, I managed to move around to the other side of my vehicle. They heard my dogs barking in the house. They took off running, thinking the dogs were coming out of the house. I've got two little miniature Doberman pinschers. As they took off, I hollered to my daughter, Call the police, let them know that I'm in pursuit of armed robbers who just robbed me, and I'm making an effort to get identification so that the police can bring these criminals to justice.
CAMEROTA: Because they took off running. So you jumped in your car, and you chased them...
ROBERT O'NEAL: No. No. Let me clarify something. They took off running and got in another vehicle and sped off.
ROBERT O'NEAL: They were in a vehicle. I was in a vehicle, trying to follow them to get a license tag so I could call the police on the cell phone and they could come and render assist to bring these criminals to justice. In no way did I have any weapon in my vehicle. No way did I intend to offend or hurt anyone. My sole purpose was to get identification of these criminals so they could be brought to justice.
CAMEROTA: And so you chased them in the car to get the identification, and at some point, they opened fire on you?
ROBERT O'NEAL: Yes, they did. They started shooting through the back window, as I tried to get close enough to get a positive ID on the vehicle's tag number. When they opened fire, I ducked underneath the dashboard. Unfortunately, my foot was on the gas pedal, and I rammed the rear of their car. Now, as they proceeded around the corner, so did I, in an effort to get proper identification. They kept firing. I ducked under the dashboard again. They lost control of their vehicle. My vehicle struck theirs. And it's all a blur from there.
CAMEROTA: But at some point, one of the alleged gunmen must have gotten out of the car because you ended up accidentally running him over.
ROBERT O'NEAL: You know, I still don't know if it was my vehicle that hit this guy. It's an assumption. And you know, I'm not a hero, and I'm darned sure not a vigilante. I only did what any American would do to keep their family safe. When they told me what they were going to do with my daughters, and they had the means of doing it and coming back, if they got away -- I had no means of identifying these guys -- if they'd have gotten clean away. What was I going to tell the police? It was three black guys with hoods on their heads, black clothes. I have no idea what they were driving, any identification at all.
CAMEROTA: Yes. I want to bring in your daughters. Now, Ashley, what did you think when all of this was happening? Were you in the house? And could you see what was happening outside with your father?
ASHLEY O'NEAL, HER FATHER CHASED DOWN ATTACKERS: Well, actually, we were not really aware of what exactly was going on outside. We had just walked in the house. We were throwing our stuff in our rooms, like usual. And then when we heard shouting, we ran downstairs to see what was going on. By that time, everything had already happened, and our father was screaming at us, telling us to get back in the house. You know, Go call the police.
CAMEROTA: And Lavata, did you know then that your father took off in his car to chase them?
LAVATA O'NEAL, HER FATHER CHASED DOWN ATTACKERS: Yes. I was, like, the first one out the door. So when I came outside, my dad immediately told me to go back in. My sister -- she was at the door -- he told both of us to go back in and call the police.
CAMEROTA: Were you scared?
LAVATA O'NEAL: No, not really.
CAMEROTA: Why not?
LAVATA O'NEAL: I don't know.
CAMEROTA: It was just all happening too quickly?
LAVATA O'NEAL: Yes.
CAMEROTA: Mr. O'Neal, two suspects have now been arrested and charged with armed robbery. One is still on the run, and one is dead because he was run over by, I believe, your car. I think the police believe that. Knowing the outcome of this, would you have done anything differently?
ROBERT O'NEAL: I still would have attempted to get the information the police needed in order to bring the criminals to justice. You know, our system can work if civilians get involved. But not to the degree that I did. If you see a crime being committed, help the police out. Everybody carries a cell phone. Pick the phone up, call 911, give them the information that they need so that these criminals can be brought to justice.
Am I guilty for not being a coward and having the courage to go after these guys and seeing to it that they are caught and arrested? I didn't mean to hurt anybody. My only attempt was to see to it that I got proper ID and that the terrorists could arrest them.
CAMEROTA: Now, having said that, prosecutors are considering charges against you. Is that fair?
ROBERT O'NEAL: Well, I don't think so. But you know, they crucified Jesus Christ, didn't they?
CAMEROTA: Robert O'Neal, on that note, Ashley O'Neal, Lavata O'Neal, it's a good thing that you guys are all safe. Thank you for joining us tonight.
ROBERT O'NEAL: You're welcome.
LAVATA O'NEAL: Thank you.
ASHLEY O'NEAL: Thank you.
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