A Gastonia police officer (who has not been named) is patting himself on the back this morning after undoubtedly protecting a group of arcade-game playing children from an obvious, imminent threat: a 23-year-old man playing miniature golf with a group of friends of the same age. Read the story here: http://www.gastongazette.com/news/putt-71074-romero-offender.html
See, in 2007, 17-year-old Mr. Romero was convicted of the ambiguous charge, "sexual battery of a minor child". As usual, the state registry website lists the victim's age as "unknown" (seems like they'd have to know the age to get a conviction, but I digress), so we're left to wonder if this was a forcible attack on a helpless pre-pubescent child or a consensual encounter with a 15-year-old teenage girl. But based on the fact that Mr. Romero served no prison time and instead was sentenced to probation, it seems logical to infer that this is was a "Romeo and Juliet" scenario.
Apparently this particular police officer spent a little too much time memorizing the faces on the registry, as amazingly, there was no "concerned citizen" credited with calling in the terrifying predator. Too bad, because the resources that were spent on memorizing, arresting, incarcerating, and prosecuting this clearly dangerous criminal could have been far better spent on things that might actually help some kids who need it.
Maybe next time, instead of a game of cowboys (oops, I mean a "sex offender roundup") the police could randomly check in on all the other ex-felons in the neighborhood to see if their kids are in any danger. Maybe next time, the police could set up a child safety checkpoint at the entrance of the mini-golf course and interrogate each parent. Maybe next time, the police could remind the unattended children to remain in the company of a trusted adult at all times (and perhaps find out where their parents were, if they are so vulnerable to being snatched up by registered sex offenders in any given location).