Police nab child predator accused of lurking and groping kids in public pool

Marcelino Benito

Police nab child predator accused of lurking and groping kids in public pool

CREATED Jul. 17, 2013

BENSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Child predators lurking in the pool, it's a fear captured in film before.

"It disgusts me," said parent Kim Deatrick.

It's a fear parents in Benson know can be all too real. Because a pair of eyes that shouldn't have been on their children, were. And it didn't stop there.

"That's when he was underwater, and he touched him," said Shauna Judd, head lifeguard at the pool.

The 7-year-old boy told lifeguard Shauna Judd what happened. That 50-year-old Donald Robert Hosmer touched him in his privates, and a 9-year-old girl told police he tried luring her out of the pool area too.

"It's abhorrent, it's just abhorrent," said Jim Cox, Benson's interim City Manager.

Lifeguards called 911 and police took him into custody. The pool was back open as usual Wednesday, but parents nerves are shaken.

"This could have been my eight year old son that we're talking about," said Kevin Dunivan.

"Danger lurks everywhere now a days," Dan Deatrick.

Lifeguards tell 9OYS police had been keeping a close eye on Benson's city pool for a while. They'd increased patrols after they'd noticed a man watching children nearby before.

"He went there as an innocent little boy to have fun at the pool and this happens to him," said Dunivan. "We have to ask ourselves as parents did we fail somewhere?"

Now parents left to wonder why they weren't warned ahead of time. And if there's anything they could have done to stop Hosmer before he jumped into a pool full of kids.

"They're your children and it's your responsibility to watch out for them," said Deatrick. "Those predators will go where the children are."

"We're in a small town where quote nothing happens, and it happened here, so it can happen anywhere, anytime," said Cox.

The message to parents tonight, always be vigilant, in and out of the pool. And if you see any suspicious activity  near your kids, call police right away.

Hosmer is out of the Cochise County Jail, released to mental health officials. He's charged with molestation of a child and attempted molestation of a child. 9OYS dug up his court records and this was his first arrest.