HOUSTON -

A Harris County father says what he never could've dreamed became a real-life nightmare for his 7-year-old daughter and entire family after a man exposed himself to his daughter in a public restroom.

Raul Cortez was with his family and friends eating dinner at Landry's Aquarium Downtown on Sunday when his daughter asked to go to the restroom to wash her hands. When she quickly returned to the table, Cortez knew something was wrong.

"She comes back like if she just, if she just -- somebody scared her," said Cortez. "You know, as if she saw a ghost."

Police said 20-year-old Christopher Yawn was in the women's restroom with the 7-year-old exposing and fondling himself. When managers confronted him, a struggle ensued and then Yawn ran out of the restroom. That's when a deputy constable who had arrived chased Yawn into the Buffalo Bayou, where he got away.

"I ran and ran and we tackled him," says Cortez. "And we held him right there until HPD arrived."

Yawn has been in trouble with the law several times in the past, especially last year.

In June, he was sentenced to 15 days confinement after being found guilty of assault/bodily injury. He received 30 days in mid-August for criminal trespassing and 90 more days on the same charge just two weeks later. Yawn was sentenced to 75 days for another criminal trespassing charge in October, then 30 days in November for theft. Yawn was also sentenced to 60 days of confinement last month for exposing himself in the Texas Medical Center.

Cortez now has a message for other parents.

"Do not let your kids alone anywhere," said Cortez. "I don't care if it's the streets. I don't care if it's a restaurant, the library, the church, anywhere. Do not let them alone."