Police think man connected to solicitation cases sentenced to prison on unrelated case
Oct. 14, 2010 at 5:14 a.m.
A man police think was soliciting children earlier this year was sentenced to prison on an unrelated case this week.
A Cuero man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after his probation was revoked in an assault on a public servant case in DeWitt County, said DeWitt County Sheriff Jode Zavesky.
The man was arrested by the Victoria Police Department on April 23 for a traffic violation. He was later arrested in Cuero for violating his probation, which prohibited him from leaving DeWitt County and staying out past 10 p.m., Zavesky said.
Victoria Police Chief Bruce Ure said he thinks the arrest took a possible sexual predator off the streets.
"We believe, we firmly believe, that he was one of the persons driving around, trying to pick up our children," Ure said.
He was never charged with any incidents related to children.
Ure said police could never make a case.
In March and April, the department received reports of a man driving up to children and attempting to lure them into his vehicle. One child reported a man in a white, four-door car asking for help finding his puppy.
On April 23, Officer Sean Sheehan pulled over a vehicle, driven by the Cuero man, matching that description.
"Officer Sheehan's instincts told him something wasn't right," Ure said. He subsequently arrested the suspect on the traffic violation, the chief said.
Despite telling officers he had no weapons, police later found three pocket knives and a box cutter in the man's pocket. The suspect was giving a ride to an adult woman he described as his girlfriend. She claimed to have known the man casually for only a few months.
More disturbing, Ure said, was the amount of children's toys and stuffed animals officers found in the vehicle of the suspect, who has no children.
"When our officers inquired about the toys, he was very protective of the toys," Ure said. "He asked us not to touch them."
After a longer interview, the suspect admitted he drives around to see kids and to be "friendly" with them, Ure said. He also admitted to offering them rides. When asked if he ever engaged in inappropriate relations with the kids, the suspect replied, "'I think about it, but I don't do it,'" Ure said.
During the time police were investigating the reported incidents with children, a woman told police she had been followed home by a person in a white car. She gave police the license plate number; it matched the plates of the car the suspect was driving when he was arrested, Ure said.
The man is being held in the DeWitt County jail.