Last Tuesday, I woke up to a police raid at the house next door. Authorities from 2 local jurisdictions as well as State and Federal, conducted a Federal Search Warrant at the property. There must have been 30 to 40 people involved in the search. I spoke to one of the County Sheriffs who was on scene and he told me that they had extensive evidence implicating the adult male at the residence for receipt and possession of child pornography. Ugh! I am so freaking disgusted and angry.
Our cul-de-sac has 7 houses on it containing 16 children, ages 3 - 17. Needless to say, the neighbors are frantic. I don't worry so much about my kids, 17 and 15, but my heart breaks for the anguish of the parents of the younger ones, particularly the one family with daughters, ages 3 and 5. This sick creep seems quite drawn to them.
Three computers, cameras, and boxes of stuff were removed from the residence. The suspect was handcuffed and taken into custody. The shocking part is he was released on bond that same day. WTF??? (sorry...can we still say that here?)
Some background on the guy, it's obvious to all the neighbors that the suspect has some type of mental deficiency. His sister tells everyone he was in a car accident as a teenager and his mental development now is more like a child, hence his interest in children. He does like to be in the court when the children are riding their bikes, scooters, etc. Parents are always out there supervising, but in the last year or so, he has become increasingly focused on the two young girls especially and wants to be near the kids at all times. He got shooed away from the bus stop on the corner by one of the dads who felt it was inappropriate for a 55 year-old man to be hanging out there every morning. Nobody disagreed!
Since his arrest, the neighbors gathered over at our house on Friday night to discuss the situation and to come up with a plan on how to go forward with this guy, since he's still amongst us. We all are in agreement to be vigilant, have cell phones on our persons at all times in case we need them to take pics and/or video or call the sheriff if he violates his 'No Contact With Children' order. His next hearing is on Thursday and myself and a few other parents plan on attending. We want to be there to hear for ourselves what the charges are and what will happen next. The suspect's sister, who is the caretaker of both him and their elderly mother, has not been forthcoming at all as to his true condition and we believe to his predilections. As the neighbors began talking it became immediately clear that the suspect had admitted to one neighbor that he is schizophrenic and that his sister lies to everyone about him being in a car accident. He also admitted that he has violent outbursts and has hit both his sister and his mom in the past. Another neighbor became concerned when he was observed taking pictures of the children. What also became painfully clear was that neighbors were not necessarily talking to one another - big mistake.
If you've made it this far, bless your heart. My head is still spinning from all that has unfolded. Venting is good. I also hope that someone who has gone through something similar will chime in. Anyone in law enforcement or the court system would also be welcome. As neighbors, we all would like to know what our rights are. This impacts not only the neighbors in close proximity, but the entire neighborhood. Who wants to live in a neighborhood with a pedophile?