NEW PORT RICHEY
Man, 37, accused of grabbing boy in park
A 37-year-old man was arrested Monday after, police say, he grabbed a 9-year-old boy and offered him candy.
The boy was riding his bike through Sims Park while James Pepper sat on a park bench, a New Port Richey police report states. Pepper grabbed the boy and asked whether his "mommy" was around and if he'd like to come to Pepper's car for candy.
The boy's mother said she saw the incident and called police.
When officers asked Pepper what happened, he said he only asked the boy where his mother was because he was alone. He denied offering candy.
Pepper, of 5742 Pine St., was arrested on a charge of child abuse. He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Tuesday in lieu of $5,000 bail.