JPD: Level 3 sex offender living near elementary school, community center

JPD: Level 3 sex offender living near elementary school, community center

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro police arrested a Level 3 sex offender for living too close to where young children learn and play.

Thursday evening Corporal Owen Smith responded to the 100-block of Elm Avenue regarding a man "being disorderly and threatening to harm his on-duty caseworker."

When Smith arrived, he discovered Hughes was not in compliance with Level 3 living restrictions and notified Tony Williams, the Jonesboro Police Department's sex offender registration specialist.

According to the Sex Offender Registration Act of 1997, a Level 3 or 4 sex offender cannot knowingly live within 2,000' of a public or private elementary or secondary school, public park, youth center, or daycare facility.

Williams said Hughes lived just 587' from the Earl Bell Community Center and 1,059' from the International Studies Elementary School.

Smith arrested Hughes and took him to the Craighead County Detention Center where he was left in lieu of a $205 bond on the charge of disorderly conduct. A hold was also placed on him by Williams for the registration violation.

People in the area where Hughes lived said they were shocked and concerned to find out what happened.

Rebecca Adams, the mother of 3 young girls, lives in the neighborhood and said she could not believe a sex offender lived so close to her family.

"To know that me and my 3 youngest get out and walk all the time and we're over at the park and the school, you know what I'm saying," Adams said. "It makes my heart go to my stomach."

In the year and a half that she has been in the area, Adams said they have not had many issues.

She said even though her daughters do not go anywhere alone, this incident still made her a little leery.

Smith noted in his report that Hughes pleaded guilty in 1996 to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

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