A local family had a terrifying encounter after police say a wanted sex offender was trying to lure a young girl.
Thanks to a concerned neighbor who called 911, that suspect is now back in custody.
The mother of that 8-year-old girl talked exclusively with 44News about what happened.
Police reports indicate Brian Williamson was standing talking over their privacy fence as the child sat on the trampoline just a foot away.
“Terrified. Very terrified,” mother Jenny Long said of the incident. “It made me shake, I’m really stressed out today.”
Their Evansville home, one for a young girl with a broken leg–and a lawn strewn with the playthings of innocence.
“I was vacuuming in my bedroom and my daughter was out in the yard,” Long recalled.
But a watchful neighbor did not believe 31-year-old Williamson had innocent intentions here and called police.
The girl later told her mother Williamson had come by multiple times over several weeks, watching her on her bike. The last incident worried the young girl’s mother.
“He came up to her and said ‘Hey do you like Pokémon Go?’ and he downloaded two apps on her phone. It’s just scary,” the mother added.
Police were concerned with what was on Williamson’s phone, and what he could be capable of.
“I thought she knew better and I always talk to her about it. He could’ve had a kitten or a puppy and she would’ve went. I thought she wouldn’t but she would’ve,” Long worried.
When police asked to check for photos that a neighbor reported seeing Williamson take, he made a chilling confession.
Williamson told police he had explicit photos on his phone, that he claimed were “from legal websites and were family appropriate.”
When asked if he had any weapons, he told police he had a box cutter. A search also produced a bag of cookies and a condom.
“He kept talking to her,” neighbor Sondra Snaden remembered. “I stayed out here in my yard and was keeping an eye on him, because things are happening. I just wanted to make sure she was safe.”
We did some digging on Brian Williamson, and discovered he has a history of preying on children dating back to 2008.
He was convicted of a sex act with a minor. In 2012 he was arrested for harassment and stalking. In 2016, he was arrested again for failing to register as a sex offender. In April, Tennessee police put a warrant out for his arrest for a similar charge.
Back in Evansville, neighbors tell me they are happy about Williamson’s arrest but worried about other predators.
“He’s 17,” Snaden said of her own grandson. “But I still keep eyes on him. Not so much him being a boy, but who’s in the neighborhood.”
It’s not clear if he will be extradited to Tennessee to face charges there following his Evansville arrest.
Williamson is currently in the Vanderburgh County jail without bond.