Ours were the only cameras on scene when Florida probation officers and TPD’s Career Criminal Unit did the spot checks and searches Friday night.
Probation officers swarmed the motel room of a registered sex offender. He waits outside as they search for any sign of pornography, drugs or worse. Twenty minutes later, an “all clear.”
Glenn Alston, a probation officer, says, "Actually, we didn't find anything that would violate his probation, so everything went well."
Three teams of probation officers, with Tallahassee police at their flank, conduct spot checks and searches Friday night, visiting the homes of 12 registered sex offenders in Tallahassee who are currently on probation.
Carl Germany, a DOC probation officer, says, "Usually their curfew starts at 10 o'clock; they can't reside within 1,000 feet of a school or playground or day care. You know, if the victim was less than 18 years old, then of course they cannot have any contact with any kids less than 18 years old."
CAPT Chris Connell of the Tallahassee Police Department says, "Sometimes we make arrests, sometimes we don't. The probation officers go in and do their searches. If they witness a violation, we step in."
Florida probation officers have always been tasked with keeping tabs on sex offenders, but in light of recent child abductions and murders, they are intensifying their supervision.
Two hours into the sweep there’s trouble in a cul de sac off Doomar Drive. William Michael Watson, already convicted of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 16, is in handcuffs again. Probation officers find a stash of prescription drugs beneath his bed, but that is not what disturbs them most.
Gigi Haynes, a DOC probation officer, says, "Some of the things we found were a Santa suit, numerous toys, particularly Star Wars collectibles, we found makeup, a wig.”
This man is headed back to jail and likely to prison. Court papers show Watson has a history of luring teenage boys for oral sex. Reports show he used to work at a toy store and was active in horseback riding circles.
The other man arrested Friday night was 27-year-old Jonathan Hasty, who lives on Plymouth Court. Agents say they found him with pornography, which is forbidden under the terms of sex offender probation.