ST. PETERSBURG — A 53-year-old registered sex offender was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated stalking of a 13-year-old boy — two hours after police say an officer discovered him outside the victim's home.
David Brice Tyler told police he was nowhere near the boy's house Tuesday evening. But police Officer Christopher Allen reported seeing Tyler standing in the front yard.
Allen went to the house after the 13-year-old boy's father discovered a chain of "inappropriate" e-mails between a man and his son.
Allen, who thought the man was a neighbor, reported seeing Tyler walk around the side of the house and kneel by a retaining wall, said police spokesman Mike Puetz. When the officer asked Tyler what he was doing, he said Tyler told him he felt "kind of dizzy."
Neither the 13-year-old boy nor his father knew Tyler was outside, and it was not clear what Tyler was doing before the officer arrived.
Allen said Tyler looked ill, and Puetz noted Tyler's physical state might have been in response to the approaching officer. Allen waited until the man left the property before going into the 13-year-old boy's house.
Police said they were happy they got to the house before anything happened. "It was a close call," Puetz said.
The e-mails primarily consisted of Tyler attempting to persuade the boy to sneak out and meet him, police said. Tyler used the name Ned Corr in some of the e-mails, police said.
Tyler first approached the 13-year-old Sunday at the Pass-a-Grille pier in St. Pete Beach, police said. He struck up a conversation with the boy and asked the boy for his e-mail address and phone number, police said.
"The kid admitted he's not really sure why he provided the information that he did," Puetz said. "He realized it wasn't smart." Police did not know if the boy was at the pier alone.
Tyler also sent the boy numerous photos of himself and his house, repeatedly urging him to come over, police said.
The 13-year-old told his father about the e-mails and the father called police.
When he reviewed the e-mailed photos, police said, Allen realized the man in the front yard was Tyler. He and two other officers then went to Tyler's house and arrested him.
Tyler faces charges of aggravated stalking of a child, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
This isn't Tyler's first brush with the law.
In 1984, Tyler was convicted of raping a 12-year-old-boy in Ohio. After serving 18 years in prison, Tyler was picked up for violating his parole in 2002. The violation involved stalking a minor, records show.
Tyler then moved to Clermont County, Ohio, where he was charged with soliciting sex from a teenaged clerk at a local grocery store. Tyler's Ohio neighbors, alarmed that a man with Tyler's record was living among them, campaigned for better community notification of sex offenders' whereabouts.
Since moving to Florida, Tyler has been charged with shoplifting and trespassing.
A psychologist's report from November 2000 stated that Tyler was "at risk to reoffend."
Tyler was being held Wednesday in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Times Researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Marissa Lang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.