Sex offender arrested for approaching boy outside Riverhead High

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Riverhead High School on Harrison Avenue.

A Level 2 sex offender who’s been living at a local motel was arrested this week after he twice approached a young boy in front of Riverhead High School, according to police.

Donald Brown, 76, who lives at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside, is alleged to have approached an 11-year-old boy about 8:15 last Tuesday and again Friday in front of the high school, police said.


Mr. Brown engaged the youth in conversation, gave him money and told him he wanted to be his friend, according to police. The boy’s mother called police on Saturday and a description of Mr. Brown was put out. A crossing guard at the nearby Pulaski Street school recognized Mr. Brown Monday and he voluntarily went to police headquarters with the crossing guard.

An investigation at headquarters led to the arrest, said Detective Bob Haley.

Mr. Brown was charged with loitering, a violation under state law, and as well as with a violation of a 2006 Suffolk County law that prohibits Level Two and Three sex offenders, who are deemed to be most dangerous, from loitering near a school. The latter charge is a misdemeanor.

Mr. Brown is listed on the state sex offender registry as a result of a third-degree sodomy charge resulting from a July 7, 1998 arrest by Suffolk County Police.

That case involved two boys, ages 14 and 15, according to the sex offender registry.

The state registry rates sex offenders on a 1 to 3 level, with 3 being considered the most dangerous.

Mr. Brown, who was arrested in Southampton Town in August 2011 for failing to register as a sex offender, was not living in the controversial trailer for homeless offenders that is placed outside the county jail in Riverside.
He was paying rent at the hotel, Det. Haley said.

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