Parents help bust registered sex offender who was trespassing on elementary school property
SEMINOLE, Fla. (FOX 13) - When one Pinellas County mother was driving by Bauder Elementary School Easter Sunday afternoon, she saw something that seemed off.
"He came up this sidewalk, right along this sidewalk, right along the building,” the mom explained to FOX 13. She didn’t want to be identified, but she explained how the ordeal panned out.
“He stopped behind the dumpster out of my view. And he stayed behind the dumpster,” he said. “So I'm like, 'this is weird.'"
Weird, she says, because this may have been the "man on a bicycle" parents had been posting about on a private Facebook group. Mothers had been alerting each other of a man who frequently rides his bike on Bauder school grounds around dismissal time.
One of those moms looked up the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s online list of registered sexual offenders and found who they believed to be that man.
"I knew what we were looking for,” she said. “Somebody with longer hair, riding a bike."
This mom called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, and not long after, the parents learned they were right.
"They met with me a couple of days later to have me do a photo line-up,” she said. “I knew right away out of the pictures, which one it was."
Herbert John Saxton, 67, was arrested Friday on a charge of trespassing on school grounds.
Kyle Harden, who is planning on enrolling his children at Bauder, is thankful parents were so vigilant.
"Luckily no kid was harmed, taken, during this but you know, the main thing is, if you see something wrong, say something," Harden said.
As for this mom, she plans on continuing to trust her gut.
"There's no replacement for a mom's instinct. And if it feels wrong, usually it probably is,” she said.
State records show Saxton served about four years of a ten year prison sentence from 1997-2001 for sexual battery charges that occurred in 1988.
As for this recent arrest, he bonded out of the Pinellas County jail Saturday night. Records show that he was fitted with a GPS monitor prior to his release.