BETHEL HEIGHTS, Ark. (KNWA) — A local parent is concerned after a registered sex offender delivered his family pizza.
“It could be very dangerous for other people to have a sex offender to come to their house and know where their kids are,” says Matthew Bott, a Bethel Heights resident.
While ordering pizza from a local chain restaurant, Bott recognized the driver as a child predator.
“I tried to look at what his original charges were, and it turns out it was actually for internet stalking a child, and he was considered a level 3 sex offender. So being that and coming to our house did not sit right,” Bott said.
His experience is opening up the conversation about who you innocently allow strangers into your home for quick food delivery.
“An individual who has been assigned a notification level of a 3 or 4 can not work in an occupation directly or primarily where they interact with children under the age of 18,” says Jennifer Dean, Area Manager of Sex Offender Services for Probation and Parole at Arkansas Community Correction.
There are four levels for sex offenders under Arkansas law.
The levels represent the likelihood the offender will re-offend, with 1 being the least likely to re-offend and 4 being a sexually violent predator.
“Driving a pizza delivery vehicle — although they might deliver to a house that doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily working directly and primarily with a minor, so, therefore, they would be allowed legally to obtain that job and it would be up to individuals that are hiring,” Dean said.
Dean adds there has to be a balance.
“The reality is is that when an individual, any individual, is employed — they have less free time or less unstructured free time, and therefore it’s really a reduction in risk. It’s a community service to hire individuals in general that have felonious offenses, not just necessarily sex offenses in general,” Dean said.
Leaving Bott, a father of three, with many questions.
“A person who has done their time should be able to get another job, but if you’re a sex offender you should know there will be limitations on what you are able to do,” Bott said.
Dean says people its best to follow basic safety standards, no matter who is coming to your home.
“You have to understand that it is an individual’s priority to keep themselves and their children safe, and the information is always power. Know who registered sex offenders are in your community,” Dean said.