LIVONIA – A Rochester sex offender was arrested on Sunday for spying on young boys in Bowen Park, inviting them to sit in his black pickup truck, and offering them candy and food.
According to a press release from Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, Sidney Watson, 74, a level 3 or maximum risk sex offender, was arrested for Endangering the Welfare of a Child, an A misdemeanor, and Unlawful Possession of a Noxious Material, a B misdemeanor, after concerned parents reported a suspicious man in a black Toyota Tacoma to the Sheriff’s Office.
On Jan. 31, the Sheriff’s Office investigated a complaint of a suspicious male at Bown Park, who was allegedly paying extra attention to the young boys at the park who were playing hockey and skating. He reportedly offered for them to sit in his truck to get warm, and offered to buy boys candy, food. After being approached by a parent at the park, Watson left abruptly. Deputies searched the area at the time of the incident but were unable to locate the subject.
Watson and his truck were again seen at the park on Sunday, Feb. 8, and that time an alert parent jotted down the vehicle’s license plate number before calling 911. The vehicle left the park before patrols arrived, tracked down and located a short time later at Vitale Park by Deputy Connor Sanford.
Watson is a level 3 sex offender, registered after being released from Orleans Correctional Facility in 2002, having served a prison sentence for Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a D felony. After a search of his vehicle, a canister of “self defense spray” was found in the vehicle and Watson admitted that it was his. As Watson is a convicted felon, it’s illegal for him to possess the noxious material.
Watson was arraigned before Livonia Town Justice Lemen, and an Order of Protection was put in force, ordering Watson to stay away from the Livonia Parks. Watson was then released with pending court action.
Assisting Deputy Sanford at the scene was Sheriff Dougherty, Sergeant Joseph Breu and Deputy Matthew Moran. Also assisting was First Assistant District Attorney Victor Rowcliffe of the District Attorney’s Office.
PHOTO CAPTION: Sydney Watson. (Photo/Livingston County Sheriff’s Office)