Man who fell into storm grate was wanted sex offender

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Man who fell into storm grate was wanted sex offender

Wednesday, ABC13 reported on a man pulled from an open drain hole outside the Harris County courthouse, in the middle of the afternoon storms that swept through the city. He was wedged in the hole. While in no danger of being swept away, he couldn't move.

Houston firefighters rescued him, and he was transported to St Joseph's Hospital to be examined. But he also caught the attention of courthouse deputies, who oversee incidents both inside and outside the courthouse.

The deputies stayed with him at the hospital. That's when the story went from a rescue to an arrest.

"At the scene, he had given them one date of birth, and at the hospital, another date. That made them suspicious so the officers decided to run his prints," said Pct. 1 Constable chief Sammy Colunga.

The fingerprints showed that 56-year-old Robert Lee Brooks had a past. Years ago, he was convicted in Ohio of sexually assaulting a child under 13. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

In 2009, Brooks moved to Houston and fulfilled his requirement to register each year as a sex offender.

Two years ago, Brooks reported that he was homeless, which required him to report monthly to HPD's sex offender division. The last time he had contact with HPD was October 2015.

The warrant for failing to register as a sex offender remained open until yesterday when he was arrested and taken to jail. The penalty for not registering as required can be serious. "It can range from a state jail felony to a second-degree felony depending on the circumstances," said Colunga.

Of the unusual way that Brooks past caught up to him, "call it a slip of circumstances," said Colunga.

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