Sex offender arrested after spotted by off-duty deputy at Washin - KPTV - FOX 12

Sex offender arrested after spotted by off-duty deputy at Washington County Fair

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Justin Sharp, jail booking photo (Courtesy: Washington County Jail) Justin Sharp, jail booking photo (Courtesy: Washington County Jail)
(KPTV/ Brenna Kelly) (KPTV/ Brenna Kelly)

A convicted child sex offender is in jail after an off-duty deputy spotted him at the Washington County Fair, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Justin Sharp, 21, was booked into the Washington County Jail on parole violation charges Friday.

Clay Dunn, a WCSO Patrol Deputy who arrested the man, says they made contact with Sharp’s probation officer, who issued a detainer for his arrest. 

“This is unique because of the circumstances. We’re at the fairgrounds and it’s a registered sex offender who’s not supposed to be around children, and here he is surrounded with hundreds of children,” said Dunn.

Dunn says he and another bike deputy arrested Sharp just three minutes after they received the initial call that he was walking around the fairgrounds.

“He happened to have a black cutoff tank top and a Batman hat that was backwards. Kind of a unique description, I guess, so it made it a little bit easier for him to stand out,” Dunn said.

WCSO officers say there will be dozens of deputies at the fair this weekend. 

Fairgoers say they are happy they’ll be visible.

“Everywhere we’ve gone so far, there’s been at least two officers,” said Michelle Thomas, who was at the fair Friday with one of her children. “You’ve always got problems everywhere you go so you just gotta keep an eye on your kids and stick together.”

Washington County Sheriff’s deputies are on foot, bicycle, and even on horseback at this year’s fair.

“It’s a good feeling to have. It’s never a bad thing to have a bunch of them around, especially at an event like this,” said Tony Sanchez, who is with four of his children at the fair.

A picture of bike deputies arresting Sharp was posted to Twitter by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Patrol Deputy Dunn added that they make a lot more arrests the public doesn’t hear about.

“I wouldn’t be able to count them all honestly. We get quite a few arrests on the bike patrol team,” said Dunn.

Most importantly, police want families to know that there’s nothing to worry about.

“Little nervous but I try to keep an eye on my kids all the time. They’re right with me,” said Thomas.

“We know when you come to a place like this to be a little bit careful and aware, but we’re just having a good time,” said Ron and Natalie Stewart, who were enjoying the fair with their son.

Families said they feel safe. An arrest like today’s, people said, won’t ruin the rides or family fun either.

“I know people like that are out there, but I know we’re in good hands with the police department,” said Bill Lockett, who was at the fair with his two daughters.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Talbot said they are heavily utilizing reserve deputies during the fair.

They are volunteers, Talbot says, who want to be involved in the community. 

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