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California

‘Operation Boo’ nets convicted pedophiles

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) — Police officers and parole agents were out in force in the San Gabriel Valley on Halloween night, making sure convicted pedophiles weren’t trying to lure trick-or-treaters into their homes. It was all part of “Operation Boo.”

At a motel in El Monte, officers arrested a registered sex offender. Authorities say he violated his parole by keeping Halloween candies in his room. “This (candy) is what we were looking for, and he had it in a way where you could distribute it to trick-or-treaters,” state parole agent Bernard Villa said. Full Article

 

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  1. Fish in a net

    So eating candy gets you arrested… The big brave cops need to hand cuff you to just talk to you… Wow. Evidently all one needs to do is say sex offender first, because after that everyone stops thinking and therefore rights can be trampled and people can be abused. I remember when cops were brave and the legal system had a sense of justice… Childhood ignorance I guess. KFI did a similar story this morning and the main guy on that was a 21 year old who meet and slept with a 19 year old. She had been drinking…now he is a rapist. Operation Boo voliated him for having an adult site (he is 23) in the browser history of his girlfriends iPad….

    • td777

      When I was on parole, they herded those of us who were homeless into the parole office and informed us they would be searching vehicles for those of us who were lucky enough to have one. They also told us they would arrest anyone who had Halloween candy, even if we were just getting it to eat ourselves. The same went for Christmas decorations, Christmas candy, and Easter candy.

      • Janice Bellucci

        Please tell us more about parole prohibiting you from having Christmas decoration, Christmas candy and Easter candy. I smell a lawsuit. Be sure to let us know the county in which you live.

        • Anonymous Nobody

          I smell a lawsuit even over Halloween candy. But what I think is the most important is the arrest and holding of all the homeless registrants until Halloween was over — note, the story says they forced them all to a “curfew center” and would not let them leave until Halloween was over! That is clearly an illegal and unwarranted arrest!

          If the candy guy didn’t so much as answer the door for any trick or treater, I don’t see how they have a case against him — unless the terms of his parole specifically stated he can not possess any candy. Still, while what is allowed as parole terms is a lot different than general laws for non-parolees, I don’t see how they can set parole conditions to ban mere possession without another act involved.

          Hey, if you like candy, Halloween candy is a good thing to stock up on because they have it on sale all over the place, get it cheap.

          Also, I note, this story keeps using only the terms “pedophile,” and “parole.” I have to wonder if they all really were pedophiles, or if it really was registrants on parole ONLY. I’ll bet all registrants, not just those on parole, were hassled, as the media as a matter of routine keeps shouting only that parolees are subject to any of the sex offender crap, and that only pedophiles are caught up in it — and that is what much of the public thinks is the fact. It would be nice to hear from any registrants out there not on parole who were subjected to these checks on Halloween, and whether they might have been questioned about or otherwise checked for candy.

        • td777

          Isn’t forcing us to be in the parole office during those hours equivalent to false arrest or imprisonment or something along those lines?

        • Anonymous Nobody

          If they are forcing you to stay in the office for no reason other than to hold you, then I certainly would think that is an arrest and that you are in custody. That is not the same as having an appointment, going there and doing the appointment and leaving. An appointment for custody is still custody.

          However, for those on parole, parole is already considered to be a form of custody — so I’m not sure how that affects the custody issue here. For those on parole, it might depend more on parole laws and rules than on any constitutional issue.

          But re the rounding up of the homeless registrants and holding them, I got the impression in reading the story that they did that to all homeless registrants, not simply those on parole.

        • td777

          I’ve been off parole for over a year and half now. I was on parole in Orange County. Since I was homeless on parole, we were basically brought back into custody in the parole office from three to four hours on Halloween evening. During that time, there was an understanding that if Halloween candy was found in our belongings, it would be a parole violation(even though we were in the parole office when kids were out Trick Or Treating.

        • td777

          Oh yeah, and we were told that Christmas decorations were off limits for us. Some of us had vehicles and we were told that we couldn’t decorate the insides of our vehicles, because it might appear we were doing so to lure a child.

      • mh

        This is outrageous! These parole officers are acting arbitrarily. Arresting people for having candy on a day when most of this country is, I don’t know — eating candy!!!

        “…he had it in a way where you could distribute it to trick-or-treaters.” I’ll bet it was just a bag of candy. Wait ’til they start making an issue of a simple candy bar. (With guns drawn), “Hold it! Put down the Kit-Kat! I repeat, PUT THE KIT-KAT DOWN!!! PERVERT!”

        The scrutinization with which they force registrants to live under is unreasonable and ridiculous. ‘When a registrant is eating candy, you know it only means one thing,’ or ‘when a registrant is surfing the internet, you what that means!’

  2. USA

    Wow, that’s serious! They had to get 1! Candles in a hotel room! They might give him a year, which will cost tax payers 40k! This is almost humerous!

  3. steve

    What an absolute joke. They didn’t catch anyone committing a sex crime but they did nab a guy with candy and another with Halloween paraphernalia. Sounds incredibly dangerous. Thank god for our brave police.

  4. B

    Thank goodness the police is starting to crack down on this kind of thing. Kids get so much candy and the risk of tooth decay, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other long term health effects have been ignored for too long. At long last government is starting to attack real problems and not imaginary problems. (Wait. Did I miss something in the story?)

  5. Sub

    I’m surprised they didn’t bust him for drug paraphernalia for owning a spoon.

    …”and we don’t want absolutely no contact with the public tonight,”

    Wait. So they do want contact? I love it when authority figures don’t have absolutely no grasp of English.

  6. Tim

    Operation rack up the recidivism rate with harmless parole violations. Evidence gathered: bowl of vampire shaped gummy bears and one plastic skeleton. This just in. Gummy bears dissapear on way from crime scene to station. Full story at 8.

  7. Tim

    And so follows San Diego:
    http://www.cbs8.com/story/23850274/sex-offender-arrested-on-halloween-night
    This story combines the sex fear with the poisoned candy fear (comments on News 10 site). Arrested for annoying kids by giving them candy? I’m annoyed when those boy scouts, pushed by their parents, block my path into the store and try to push candy on me.

    • C

      Amen. And I find it equally annoying when people go the cheapo route and hand out Smarties and those stupid suckers. If you’re going to hand out lollipops at least make it a Tootsie or Blow Pop. Geez – talk about offensive.

      Can you imagine what a neighborhood weirdo you would be branded if you actually handed out healthy snacks, like those little packs of baby carrots or sliced apples? RSO or not, the cops would show up with every TV new live truck in town to cover the scandal.

      Next year I will hand out advice: Be sure to floss and brush.

  8. C

    Steve Gregory of KFI, who clearly needs to lay off the Halloween candy himself, posted a report to his blog today about his ride-along with <a href="http://www.kfiam640.com/pages/specialassignment.html"OC's Operation Boo.

    I could only read so far before becoming incensed at the arrest of the guy violated for having visited a legal porn site from his iPad. It seems that depriving or impeding someone’s natural need for some relief could lead to a re-offense. Why cause these poor souls additional frustration?

    On another note, and as someone else pointed out, the greater crime is handing out all that candy to our kids. <a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/how-toxic-is-sugar-1.1894262&quot; Sugar is poison!
    We had a blast Trick or Treating last night with our little ones. Each year stresses me out a little – is some douche neighbor going to cause a problem? – but I can’t, in good conscience, let me kids eat all that stuff, yummy though it is.

    Really – More kids will be physically hurt as a result of eating all that candy than by any RSO.

    • G4Change

      KFI is a hate mongering shock-talk radio station. No wonder their ratings have TANKED in the past few years.

  9. Bluewall

    WTF??? I had stacks of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and a selection of white chocolate bars in the frig when I was on parole.. I’m addicted to Reeses.. My parole officer thought it wasn’t odd and so did her supervisor.. .. I remember every odd year they checked on me in Halloween or at least leave their business card with a note saying call me.. and few times they called me on Halloween to see if I was at my place, usually I was working at night or was at Halloween party…

  10. Larry

    This is utterly absurd. There are no documented cases of a child being harmed by a RSO on Halloween; and it’s not because of operation boo s_it. It’s because it just doesnt happen and hasnt happened for decades, if ever. Kids are more at risk of being hit by a car on Halloween that being assaulted by a RSO. The goon squad came to my house yesterday. I didnt answer the door, as usual because I refuse to participate in the B.S. These kinds of actions by the ; and I use the term loosely; authorities serve no useful purpose other than to generate fear where there is nothing to be fearful of, not to mention wasting $$$$ and time adressing real problems, such as traffic and drunk drivers; not harassing and persecuting people that have done nothing. What a bunch of B.S.

  11. Tired of hiding

    “We do this every year to make sure that the community is safe and the children are safe,” parole agent Steve Bartholomy said.

    Another convicted pedophile was arrested in Pasadena.

    “We took him in for Halloween paraphernalia,” Villa said.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation calls it “Operation Boo,” and it happened statewide all in an effort to keep trick-or-treaters safe.

    Well…

    Last night in West Hollywood I went out wearing a T-shirt that I had written “Registered Sex Offender” and then black and white strips on the back…of course in a crowd of 200,000 I really didn’t stand out BUT just wanted to counter-balance the stupidity of this holiday for those California citizens who can’t even leave their apartments or put a freaking pumpkin out!

  12. KathieG.

    There are lots of smart comments here already but I have to add that the guy who got busted for having Halloween candy in his room just got busted because the officials THOUGHT it would be given to some unknown, unseen, unREAL child. Maybe this guy just likes candy. Most candy comes in seasonally “appropriate” bags for any holiday….This is now our legal system.

  13. Janice Bellucci

    @td777 – Please tell us more about parole prohibiting you from having Christmas decoration, Christmas candy and Easter candy. I smell a lawsuit. Be sure to let us know the county in which you live. Any one else had this experience?

    • mike

      A couple years ago Riverside county had an ambitious supervisor draw up a plan called E.R.A.C.E. . It was his response to his own driven fear that Riverside co. would become a haven for registrants fleeing Orange co. when they passed the parks ban. He did include all holiday decorations as an “attractive nuisance” deemed to lure children by registrants. If E.R.A.C.E. had passed I believe the only County property left for Registrants to blight would be the courthouses and Sheriffs office for registration purposes. He did manage to get Halloween restrictions passed and a “child safety zone” law passed in unincorporated areas of Riv. Co. .

      ERACE proposal:
      http://rivcocob.org/proceeds/2011/p2011_04_12_files/03.32001.pdf

      • Joe

        If memory serves, the Halloween ordinance was passed as an emergency measure in late October (no second reading required) a couple of years ago. Apparently these people do not own a calendar or are incapable of reading one.

        It was brought forward by Supervisor Jeff Stone, and it was his response to seeing an opportunity to further his political career. ‘Nuff said.

        • mike

          If ever I do get a tumor, I’ll name it Jeff Stone. He’s also the crafty supervisor that proposed the bill for charging Riv co’s jail inmates $142/day which passed about two years ago. He’s still looking for a seat in the state senate and one of his new schemes he’s touting is tent prisons in the desert; like Arpaio’s in Az. I don’t think he has given up on his master plan to secede so-cal from no-cal.

        • Tired of hiding

          Tumor…don’t insult tumors…that ass sounds more like a hemorrhoid considering the part of the anatomy he is a pain in!

  14. mch

    I’m sure that if we sport pilgrim costumes, have a cornucopia, maybe a Christmas wreath, tree or presents under the tree we’ll be targeted for “attempting” to entice children in the near future…don’t laugh, we all know it’s coming.

  15. KathieG

    I object to the use of “convicted pedophiles” in this article. I believe that pedophilia is still a psychiatric diagnosis, not a legal charge or crime. Can you be convicted of bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia? This ignorant and irresponsible use of inflammatory terms continues to feed public hysteria.

  16. Eric Knight

    While Operation “Lock up the Candy Eaters” was going on, the following REAL tragedies occurred during trick-or-treating, 2013:

    5-year-old struck, killed by car while trick-or-treating

    Boy, 8, struck by car while trick or treating

    Mother: Girl killed on Halloween was ‘little angel’

    Boy hit by car while trick-or-treating in Alexandria

    Spartanburg HS Student Hit and Killed By Car While Trick Or Treating

    12-year-old girl recovering after being hit by car while trick-or-treating in Newbury

    Local Boy Struck By Car During Trick or Treating

    This is just the first page of google results for “trick or treat child accidents”.

    Now, here is a list of all attempts by registered sex offenders trying to pick up children:

    http://soundjax.com/cricket_sounds-1.html

  17. mch

    Driving should be outlawed on Halloween…any drivers caught driving should be locked up for indeterminate sentences after their faces have been plastered all over the news. If these rogue drivers ever get out of prison, then they should be banned from ever driving again, made to wear motion sensitive ankle bracelets, put in home lock-up every Halloween and if caught with keys (of any kind)or automotive paraphanalia like Hot Rod, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, any armor all, car wax or the like, sent right back to the mini bar hotel. Those items show a serious intent to drive and hit children. Put “No Driving” signs on their homes and make them register and become RND’s or registered non-drivers. By God, that should solve some Halloween problems.

  18. USA

    FIrst, I truly have to say that I’m both shocked and disappointed with the way in which law enforcement conducts themselves. In the past, I volunteered for Prison Ministries and truly had an opportunity to see how those being released from prison are being treated. Its hard to imagine how anyone can move forward with all of the obstacles put in front of them. I mean, its almost impossible (lack of education, criminal background, many have no familes/ect). Now, while there are some individuals who I feel will re-offend, there are also a lot of individuals seeking to make a change in their lives as well. From my stand of point, I think we should be doing everything within our power to assist those who want to assist themselves. As I progress along this journey, I’m almost horrified with the legislation I see continuing to target sex offenders. Its highly highly disturbing. Furthermore, the parole officers or law enforcement violating this individual because he was living in a hotel and possessing a candle is truly disturbing. I truly have no doubt that any credible judge will see me view in the exact manner. Its personally a very sad day when I read things like this. Personally, I feel sorry for the parole agent who had to go to this extreme/they sound like a very aggressive or almost angry person who gets off by harassing some guy recently released from prison and living in a hotel!

  19. mh

    I had a midterm exam on Halloween night. I don’t even celebrate Halloween, never have, probably never will. But I had to drive almost an hour away to my school. If I was forced to stay indoors and fail my midterm, next stop — lawsuit city!

    Thank God this hysteria hasn’t yet reached the proportions in Northern California that it has in Southern California. But with the trouble brewing in El Dorado County, I fear the worst is yet to come. I was a little nervous last Thursday night because my class is late in the evening; and I was afraid that some of the hysteria sweeping the nation might influence the authorities in this area to scrutinize registrants more. Thank God I finished my midterm exam without incident.

    For those of you in Southern California, hang in there! We’ll get these laws changed eventually. Somehow, some way…

    • Tim

      I almost have to laugh at the presumption these Halloween purists have that us “fork devils” are dying to participate in their sacred holidays. Not me. Other than a chance to enjoy family ties and have a good, relaxing meal, or a day off of work, I will leave them to the fanatics. At one time the major holidays where maybe a time when an individual could celebrate connections with community and his or her god, now they are consumer fests. The perpetrators are those companies who prey on the young, enticing them with the flashiest do-dahs they feel they must have, grooming them for a lifetime of consumerism, obesity, excess debt. I’d rather deem as national holidays, to include, the day the Bill of Rights was adopted in the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, the day everyone could vote, child (and adult) labor laws were instated, the Civil Rights Act was signed, and everyday the sun rises and I feel hopeful again. Maybe one day, I can celebrate that our rights are, finally, restored. I’ll put aside a bag of candy against that event, thank you. And share it with whomever I want!

  20. proudwifeofasexoffender

    The issues make me ill and it seems to blossom into anything and everything. Although not Halloween related, porn is porn…if it is legal. You would then, when hitting a violation say that porn leads to violence against women or children and If that is so then we need to look at violence in film, etc. I believe this has been proven not to be the case. Funny that they will spin whatever they want to suit the needs of what ever bogus point they are trying to fulfill.

  21. Anonymous Nobody

    Regarding this concern about Christmas decorations, wouldn’t that be unConstitutional unequal treatment as it treats a Christian holiday differently than a Jewish one (they’re not banning Hanukkah lights or whatever Muslims do for decorations on whatever holiday they might have, or the Hindus, or other? This only singles out Christians, Christmas. Seems like it is unConstitutionally unequal to me. I suspect it might even be a violation of freedom of religion — how can it be Constitutional to ban you from celebrating your religion?

    And in that vein, isn’t Halloween actually stemming from a Celtic holiday of some kind of religious significance regarding warding off the devil and evil spirits?

    So, they are attacking only a couple of certain religions by attacking Halloween and Christmas, but not the others?

    How about the atheists. They don’t believe in anything, right? So shouldn’t they be banned from putting up no decorations?

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