Parents on alert after registered sex offender stopped near schools
DALLAS -- Parents in Lakewood are keeping a close eye on their kids after they say a registered sex offender was lurking near at least two elementary schools and a park.
Charlotte Presley said she saw the same man on Santa Fe Trail, behind Tenison at White Rock Lake Thursday morning.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he was doing something lewd and inappropriate behind the trees," said Presley. "I don't want to cross this gate or go anywhere near that area right now. I feel so uncomfortable."
That discomfort turned to fear when she received a letter from her child's school, Mata Elementary, near her home about an incident that same day.
The school said DISD would increase patrols in the area after a nearby school, Spanish House Elementary, alerted them that teacher's spotted a man near the fence outside the playground before he walked toward a creek behind the school. They called police.
Minutes later, a teacher at Lumin Lindsley Park Community School told administrators a man matching the same description came up to the fence near the playground and asked to use the phone. When she said no, he walked to Lindsley Park across the street.
Minutes later, police stopped a "high risk" registered sex offender, Daniel Gross, 42, in Lindsley Park.
Gross doesn't live in the area. His registry address is in Oak Cliff. His record includes failing to register, plus crimes like criminal trespassing, indecent exposure and theft, on top of a 2004 conviction for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old in Ohio.
"It's just really scary to know that he was that close to kids on 3 different campuses," said Veronica Olivo, a parent of two children at Mata Elementary.
Gross hasn't been spotted in the area since. Police said his parole officer is investigating whether he violated parole. He has since been placed on an ankle monitor that will alert authorities if Gross goes near a school or any other designated Child Safety Zone.