Parents Upset That School Did Not Call Police After Alleged First Incident - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/20/04 - Longview

Parents Upset That School Did Not Call Police After Alleged First Incident

20 year old Randal Harty was taken into custody last week after he was found on a Spring Hill campus. It was a violation of his probation as a registered sex offender.

Police say that was not the first time Randal Harty had been at that campus. Investigators were not notified of the first incident for more than a week.

"A crime was committed and the police were not called," says Ann Fogle. She has a daughter in Spring Hill Jr. high. She learned about Randal Harty's presence on the campus at the same time as the vast majority of other parents. Last Thursday, he showed up and an alert teacher notified the school who then called police. But what most parents didn't know was that, the school says, Harty had been there just the week before and allegedly did much more than simply drive onto the campus.

"He exposed himself on the campus and we had a student that saw that. Once that happened, quickly he was gone. We didn't call the police that day," says principal David Reed.

The school waited until the second incident last week when a school employee caught Harty and held him until police came.

"One we had real vague information on the description of the person. The vehicle we had conflicting descriptions of what the vehicle was. We didn't feel like we had information that would help an investigation," says Reed.

"That doesn't make sense to me. They didn't know what he was capable of, what his background was, who he was. We didn't know if he was going to snatch them into a vehicle and take off or what he would do to them," says Ann.

"We talked to the teachers. We heightened our alert to the teachers to be on the look out. Anyone who looked suspicious," says the principal.

The school points out that action is in the end what caught Harty. But parents, like Ann, say that simply isn't enough. She says the police, parents and students should have been told the danger that existed.

Randal Harty remains jailed tonight charged with violating his probation.

The first incident on April 7th at Spring Hill is still under investigation and no charges have been filed yet in that case.

Amy Tatum, reporting.

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