February 14, 2005
MELBOURNE, Fla. — A Brevard County community now knows more about a man
they trusted. He’s a convicted sex offender and is now accused of
trapping a young girl. The young girl had to kick and scream until she
managed to escape.
Neighbors say the man gained their trust over months and often had
children come over to his home near Melbourne. People who live in the
area are in disbelief.
Deputies plan to return to the community to interview many of the
neighborhood children to see if there is reason to believe any other
crimes were committed.
The happiness of Happy Acres has been replaced with surprise and anger.
Residents are outraged over 42-year-old Kenneth Bargeron. Neighbors say
he moved into a trailer after the hurricanes and immediately befriended
all the children in the neighborhood, using his dog Pepper to get them
inside his home.
Investigators say, when a 10-year-old girl went to the trailer to
retrieve a jacket this weekend, Bargeron crossed the line. The girl told
deputies he closed the door, wouldn’t let her leave, pinned her against a
couch inside and grabbed her by the pants.
“She said he was looking out of character and the look in his eye was
different than any other look she had seen before,” said Agent Marlon
Buggs, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies say the girl struggled inside and was only able to get out by
kicking him in a bad knee. It was only then anyone living in Happy Acres
learned he was a convicted sex offender who served three and a half years
in prison for molesting a child.
Neighbors were never warned because, in the earlier case, the court
classified Bargeron as a sexual offender and not a sexual predator,
meaning, legally, the neighbors didn’t have to be notified.
Bargeron is in jail charged with false imprisonment. When a judge saw the
allegations and the man’s criminal history, he raised Bargeron’s bond
from the standard $1,000 to $250,000.
Copyright 2005 by wftv.com