(WSVN) - Parents can go online to find out where sexual offenders live in South Florida, and many check to keep their kids safe. So imagine finding out a sex offender lives in front of your child’s school bus stop. Is that “Too Close for Comfort?” Here’s the Nightteam’s Brandon Beyer.
The bus stop for these high school students is directly in front of a registered sex offender’s home. His crimes involved molesting a child.
Jennifer Vitiaci, parent: “That can’t happen. That shouldn’t be legal.”
Arthur Budau was convicted in 1994 of indecent assault and attempted sexual battery on a 10-year-old boy. He spent three and a half years in state prison.
Budau has been out for nearly 20 years, but some parents are afraid his Coral Springs home is too close to a public school bus stop.
Three or four students get picked up here in the morning, in the dark, and then dropped off a few feet from the driveway after school.
7News spotted Budau sitting inside his garage one day when the bus pulled up.
Coral Springs Police Detective Ernesto Bruna: “Every time we stop by he is in the garage, but I’m not sure if he is living in the garage or inside of the home.”
There is a Coral Springs City ordinance prohibiting sex offenders from moving to a home within 2,500 feet of a bus stop, school or park. But Budau was living here before that ordinance took effect, so the restrictions don’t include him.
Ernesto Bruna: “He is within the law with us, at least. We do quarterly checks on our sex offenders, and I have had face-to-face contact with him, and he has been nothing but cooperative with us when we stop by. I understand the concern of the parents with him being there, but unfortunately, he’s in the program already.”
So why not simply move the bus stop? It’s a question we wanted to ask Broward County Public Schools, but our request for an on-camera interview was turned down.
Broward County Schools says they are following state law and there is nothing to prevent Mr. Budau from living near a bus stop.
Producer: “We’re with Channel 7, we’re doing a story. You’re a sex offender that lives right here where a school bus stop is. Do you think that’s appropriate?”
Arthur Budau did not have much to say to a 7News producer other than he doesn’t work and couldn’t talk.
There are almost 1,400 sex offenders registered in Broward County.
School buses make 57,000 stops per day. We asked if the school district considers where sex offenders live when determining bus stops, but did not get an answer.
Producer: “Do you think they should consider that before making bus stops?”
Jennifer Vitiaci, parent: “Absolutely, absolutely. It can’t take somebody all that long.”
Joane Maese, grandparent: “I would certainly want to be aware of who’s living in the neighborhood, regardless of whether it’s a bus stop or close to a school.”
Simone Kuffner, parent: “If they’re a registered sex offender, there shouldn’t be a school bus stop there.”
The district did say the Florida Department of Law Enforcement notifies them of offenders who are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a bus stop.
And, if you think there’s something 7News should investigate, give us a call or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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