Outside Sex Predators' Homes in Florida: Red Signs
18 signs now peppered throughout Bradford County
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2013 8:30 AM CDT
The new signs.   (Mygtn.tv Screenshot)

(Newser) – Police in Bradford County, Florida, have taken a highly visible step in making sure no sexual predator goes unnoticed: Officials there last week erected bold red signs in front of the homes of 18 registered sexual predators. GTN News reports that the signs are permitted under a Florida statute that gives authorities the power to "inform the community and the public of the presence" of such an offender. They read: "[Name] is a convicted Sexual Predator and lives at this location." (Side note: Florida classifies sex offenders and sexual predators differently; the latter are those convicted of a single first-degree felony or multiple second-degree felonies of a sexual nature.)

A captain with the county's police department explains the reasoning to Vice: Though they already post notices to Facebook and go into the community to alert residents, "we realized there was a possible issue with continued notification. If somebody moves in after we've gone around notifying people, then they're not aware that there's a predator there." So how are these now-informed residents reacting? "It just astounded me really," says one who has seen a sign go up near his home. "It's like twenty feet behind our house. That's just scary. Dude could be like watching out his back window looking at us."

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Outside Sex Predators' Homes in Florida: Red Signs is...
3%
4%
4%
53%
4%
32%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 100 comments
JayByrd
Apr 19, 2013 9:55 PM CDT
Perhaps the community should be more concerned about it’s law enforcement officers sexually abusing or assaulting them than some random stranger or someone on the registry. It’s those in a position of authority you need to watch. Me thinks the sheriffs office, police station, and other correctional facilities should have big red signs warning that a sexual predator or violent abuser most likely works there. Just read the following articles out of Bradford County and you will see what I am talking about. Statistics show that more than 90% of the time a child is sexually assaulted by someone in a position of authority like a parent, pastor, POLICE OFFICER, SHERIFF…etc not some stranger on the registry. You know what they say about those who scream the loudest having the most to hide. I’m betting sheriff Gordon has something he’s hiding. Especially considering the track record of corruption among law enforcement officers in Bradford county….. just read…… —————————————————————————————– “”A Bradford County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on charges of having sex with a teenage girl while he was on duty as a high school resource officer at the girl’s school. Johnny Lamart Hernandez, 36, of Hampton, was arrested Tuesday on three counts of sexual activity with a minor, according to an arrest report. Hernandez was already in jail on domestic violence and child neglect charges. Hernandez’s arrest “has special concern on several levels,” State Attorney Bill Cervone said Tuesday. “There is the alleged inappropriate sexual contact between an adult and minor,’’ he said. “There is also the overlay of this suspect being a law enforcement officer, who you would expect to be above reproach.” Read more…. http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120207/ARTICLES/120209599 —————————————————————————————– “”Bradford County authorities on Sunday arrested a Baker County correctional deputy on allegations that he had sexually abused a girl. Investigators said the abuse might have started when the girl was about 10 years old and continued for as long as six years. Steven Kyle Crews, 35, was charged with sexual battery on a child age 12 or younger and possession of a photograph or recording of a sex performance by a child…”" Read More… http://www.gainesville.com/article/20100105/ARTICLES/1051007 —————————————————————————————— “”A 49-year-old former corrections officer and one of Bradford County Sheriff’s Office’s most-wanted has been found in Puerto Rico after an email tip led to him, according to authorities. Juan Oquendo Jr. was arrested on a judge’s almost 13-year-old warrant on a charge of sexual battery of someone older than 12 and two counts of sexual battery of child younger than 12, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Oquendo had worked at the Union Correctional Institute but resigned and moved before an investigation into the charges had begun. The victims came forward with allegations about a year after he disappeared and a warrant was obtained.”" Read More……. http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-02-22/story/former-prison-officer-bradford-most-wanted-list-arrested-puerto-rico ———————————————————————————————- A Bradford County Reserve Deputy is in the Bradford County Jail for getting into a physical argument with his wife. According to the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, Ronald Gassaway’s wife told their deputies at a gas station there that she was injured by Gassaway. The Sheriff’s Office said Gassaway cannot perform any law enforcement jobs and will be taken to another location. Ronald Gassaway is on suspension and charged with Domestic Battery. Read More….. http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/actionlocal/story/Reserve-Deputy-arrested-for-domestic-battery/qVnTI0e1CkmuNJtySesLPA.cspx ————————————————————————————————- “”A Bradford county corrections officer is accused of trying to kill a co-worker after investigators said he shot her in the face. The alledged shooter is 50-year old Charles Gregg Hendrix who was fired Tuesday afternoon. In an affidavit, 41-year old Lori Jestes said she and Hendrix got into an argument which eventually escalated. The shooting has left members of a small town agency with mixed feelings. “Especially when you know both people… you can’t judge. All you can do is send your prayers out to both families and wish her (Jestes) a speedy recovery,” said coworker Kelly Moore. For a full report, watch the video on the right side of this page.”" Read More……. http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2011/06/bradford-county-corrections-officer-arrested-attempted-murder ——————————————————————————————————- WOW, and these are just a few of the stories I found concerning abusive government officials in Bradford county. Like I said, I would be more scared, at least in this Bradford county, of a law enforcement officer or other public official trying to sexually or physically assault me or a child than anyone else.
aubreyvenable
Apr 19, 2013 11:43 AM CDT
No problem with this. Unless I'm misunderstanding what I just read about Florida laws, this isn't going to apply to people "peeing in the alley behind your house" or an 18-24 year old having sex with a 16/17 year old. 18+ year olds have no business having sex with someone under 16. "(Side note: Florida classifies sex offenders and sexual predators differently; the latter are those convicted of a single first-degree felony or multiple second-degree felonies of a sexual nature.)"
BrushMan
Apr 18, 2013 4:57 PM CDT
You can get one of those signs for yourself if you are caught peeing in the alley behind your house, or even in the YARD behind your house.