No sex offender ordinance has Bay City residents upset

January 15, 2010 9:21:43 PM PST
Sex offenders are a big worry for many parents, but one city here in southeast Texas doesn't have an ordinance restricting where they live. Now many people in Bay City are asking why. Gripping a flyer with the photo of the man the molested her when she was 11, Diamond Good recently found out registered sex offender Donald Wayne Brown now lives just a few miles away.

"He ran into my mom in HEB," said Diamond.

Immediately she got on the DPS website and found Brown's page and his address, but she also learned that Bay City has no sex offender ordinance restricting where registered sex offenders live.

"I don't understand why they haven't. They are just jeopardizing more people," Diamond said.

So she printed copies of his DPS page and set out for his street.

"We just went to all of his neighbors in the neighborhood and knocked on their door and let them know that there is a sex offender living in their neighborhood," said Diamond.

When we asked her how neighbors reacted, Diamond said they were, "Very very surprised."

Even more surprised was the director of a nearby Girl Scout annex. She had no idea.

With Bay City having no ordinance regarding sex offenders, they are essentially allowed to live where they please. At that Girl Scouts of America building where meetings are held during the week, Donald Brown lives a block and a half away. The GPS says it's one-tenth of a mile.

We walked to Brown's home to ask why he was living so close to a Girl Scouts annex, but he never answered.

And no answers are coming from the mayor of Bay City either. Mayor Richard Knapik refused to go on camera only sending us an email that read, "The City of Bay City does not have any ordinances pertaining to sexual offenders living within the city limits, nor do we have ordinances regarding murder, theft and other heinous crimes. The laws of the State of Texas encompass all of these offenses."

Bay City residents say right now sex offenders have free roam.

"I don't understand why we don't have that ordinance here because there are several sex offenders that do live around the schools and the day cares," said resident Jean Burge.

Others don't understand why Bay City has never drafted an ordinance to deal with their 47 sex offenders.

"They are lazy, that is pretty much it. They don't want to put up with it. They are just letting them live where ever they want to live and it's not fair to us good citizens," said Ashley Benevides.

As for Diamond, she plans to raise awareness and help Bay City reevaluate the dangers of not having a sex offender ordinance.

"To get them away from the parks and schools and the Girls Scouts because they are sex offenders and there is so many of them that live in Bay City and they can live where ever they want," said Diamond.

You can check if there are sex offenders in your neighborhood. We have a link to the state registry here.