Updated at 2:04 p.m., Sunday, March 19
A man initially suspected of trying to lure an 11-year-old girl off the grounds of a school near Moonlight Beach was arrested a short time later Friday and charged with annoying the child, according to San Diego County sheriff deputies.
The owner of the preschool, Liberty Winn, says the transient was not trying to lure a child from the premises.
“He stole a pair of flip-flops from outside our gate and asked my daughter and her friend if the shoes were theirs before he strolled casually away with them,” said Winn, in a statement. “He in no way tried to lure the children — he did intend to take the shoes he thought were free for the taking.”
She said police told her the man was intoxicated and had no prior record. Winn says she identified the man on video, and he was singing, smiling and waving at cars while walking at a leisurely pace down the street.
Nemo P. Bailey, 34, allegedly called to the child from in front of the campus on La Mesa Avenue in Encinitas shortly after 10:30 a.m., according to sheriff’s officials.
Instead, the girl fled and told a school worker what had happened, Sgt. Scott Bligh said. The employee made an emergency call, and deputies located Bailey about 10 minutes later near a set of oceanfront volleyball courts and took him into custody without incident.
Bailey — believed to be a transient who arrived in the San Diego area from Milwaukee by train several days ago — was booked into county jail in Vista on a suspected misdemeanor count of annoying a child. He was held on a bail amount of $20,000, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The small residential learning center where the alleged crime took place is primarily a preschool but also offers programs for older children, the sergeant said.
If convicted, Bailey could face a fine up to $5,000 and up to a year in county jail, according to the California Legislative Information.
City News Service contributed to this article.
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