Mesquite police arrested a registered sex offender for aggravated kidnapping this week after the alleged victim escaped and ran to Dallas firefighters for help.

Doyle Tipton, 53, is currently being held on a $250,000 bond in the Mesquite city jail.

Investigators from the Mesquite Police Department have identified him as the driver of a red minivan that picked up a female child near Gross Road and Ridgeview Street on June 6, according to a news release sent to The Dallas Express. The girl had run away from home earlier and had accepted Tipton’s alleged offer of a ride back.

However, instead of driving her home, Tipton reportedly headed into Dallas and began trying to touch her in a sexual manner. The alleged victim resisted, apparently forcing Tipton to stop the minivan on I-20. As he tried to pull her out of the vehicle, she fled, according to Mesquite PD.

The victim continued on foot until coming across Dallas Fire Station 40, which is located at 2440 E. Kirnwood Dr. The firefighters called Dallas police, who in turn notified Mesquite PD.

The ensuing investigation using the victim’s testimony and traffic surveillance footage led to Tipton, who is a resident of Quinlan, according to the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry.

Tipton has been publicly registered as a sex offender since 2018 for the sexual assault of a 23-year-old man in 2011. He is described on the registry as being a “low” level risk.

As previously covered in The Dallas Express, black and Hispanic people constitute the vast majority of violent crime victims, including those targeted in kidnappings and sexual assaults.

According to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard, there have been 79 kidnappings or abductions in Dallas this year as of June 11 and 270 sex offenses, which include rape and groping. Black and Hispanic victims comprised 82.2% of all kidnapping victims and 83.7% of all sex crime victims.

The Dallas Police Department’s efforts to curb violent crime have been dampened by a longstanding officer shortage. Just 3,000 officers are fielded, whereas a City report has previously recommended a force of 4,000 officers. The department also has a budget of only $654 million this fiscal year, with City leaders opting to allocate far less to police than the counterparts of other high-crime jurisdictions.