Registered Sex Offender Arrested 25 Yards From Casper Elementary School
A man convicted of a child sex crime in 1999 was arrested Thursday after walking toward Sagewood Elementary School right as students were being let out.
Jason Ray Peterson, 43, is charged with criminal entry and prohibited access to school facilities by adult sex offenders, both misdemeanor offenses. He could spend up to a year behind bars and have to pay $1,500 in fines if convicted on both counts.
Court documents say a woman called police after she saw Peterson walking around the neighborhood near Sagewood Elementary.
The caller said she started getting nervous when she realized that Peterson appeared to be intoxicated, not in his right mind and walking toward the school as students were being released for the day.
According to the affidavit, the woman followed Peterson in her car and saw him pulling on car door handles as he walked south on Shattuck.
At one point, the woman reportedly saw Peterson walk into someone's open garage and start looking around. She honked her horn to scare him out of there, and Peterson left the garage empty-handed before continuing toward the school.
Officers stopped Peterson when he was about 25 yards from the school, according to the affidavit. Peterson reportedly seemed very restless and had trouble focusing on questions asked by officers.
Peterson allegedly told police he was just out and about, trying to get exercise for his back. He said he lived with his father on Sagewood.
Court documents say Peterson also told police he was working with a Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agent in order to "find some people in the area."
Peterson also said he was a registered sex offender, having been convicted of one count of third-degree sexual assault of a minor.
According to the affidavit, Peterson said he was just getting ready to register his residence on Sagewood. Court documents say authorities last knew of Peterson living on Wyoming Boulevard.
He also said he had no idea that sex offenders are forbidden from going within 1000 yards of a school.
Peterson allegedly told police he didn't realize school was letting out. He also told officers that he had used methamphetamine about four days prior.
Officers noted that Peterson's reason for being in the area continually changed and didn't make sense, the affidavit says. Peterson was arrested.
Peterson heard the charges against him Friday afternoon during his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court.
The state noted Peterson faces a pending sentence for failure to register as a sex offender. He also has a lengthy criminal history.
Peterson's bond was set at $1,000 cash or surety.