Citizens React to Sighting of Sex Offender
On Friday evening the El Dorado County Watch Facebook website had a user post an 18 month old alert about the release of a sex offender from Pollock Pines. The story became current as the sex offender was seen back in Pollock Pines.
The 20-year-old woman was only nine when Pitts tried to force her into his trunk had this to say about his recent sighting, "I saw him a few houses down from my house In Sierra Springs and I just want parents and the children to know." She later added:
"I think parents should talk to there kids about what to do if they were every to be put in a situation like this. It's scary and I would never want to see that happen to any child or person. We have to protect the children and they have got to be aware of the surroundings and what to do."
The original story was an alert from Yuba City police about the release of Michael Pitts and also provided detail court records of his crimes. Pitts is a former El Dorado County resident that tried to kidnap a 9-year-old girl off a street in 2003 in Pollock Pines. Pitts attempted to force the girl into the trunk of his car. Michael Conan Pitts was paroled after serving time in federal and state prisons for the attempted kidnapping and possession of child pornography. Pitts was last known to reside in Yuba City.
The original alert said, "Yuba City police took the unusual step last week of alerting a neighborhood to the presence of a recently paroled sex offender whose information has not been placed on the Megan's Law registry" but he is now on the registry.
Locals became alarmed when he was spotted in the bedroom community of the Sierra Springs, near Sly Park and Jenkinsen Lake in Pollock Pines. One wrote, "he was seen in Sierra Springs as recently as a week ago." Quickly parents in the area become engaged asking where he was and what he was doing.
Even the young lady that was his target as a 9-year-old spoke up this Friday. She said she was fine and doing OK, but that she had seen her attacker recently in the small community. She is a fighter, and fought her way free in 2003. She is still fighting back today, but one can only wonder at her reaction to seeing her attacker walking free in Pollock Pines.
Within hours of this conversation a local wrote, "Very scary! We noticed a police car patrolling Sierra Springs today and I wonder if it is related..."
Although it has been over a decade since he was taken off the streets, he is not forgotten in the mountain community. He was know by many as a local school bus driver.
Some of the comments made include (Names have been redacted to protect privacy):
- "I remember this guy. He used to thank us for riding his big twinkie when we got off the bus"
- "I know him, he was my sub bus driver for years. Had a run in with him once at gold oak, creepiest guy ever!"
- "Are you kidding me?! I remember when this happened. After all his crap he should NOT be out!"
- "He has always been a creep for as long as I can remember. He use to drive my bus."
- "This was my old bus driver hella freaky we always knew he was weird why would they let him out"
- "This is really spooky. He was a bus driver and aide at my middle school and was always very creepy. It scared me that he is released and has been seen in EDC. WE need to be vigilant and have him reported and dealt with properly if he is entering the County again. So glad this has his picture so we are informed."
The 20 year-old lady that was his kidnapping target 11 years ago said,
"He looks exactly the same just older and chunkier!"
Some people did not recognize him as the school bus driver turned sex offender convict, but did recognize him none-the-less. One said:
"He was in Biglots Placerville 2012. Scary guy! (He) knew who I was, said he used to be my bus driver. Cant believe they let him back in the area or even around kids. This is serious, please be careful everyone."
One person wrote a comment that summed up what many had expressed,
"Our system is SOOO broken ... We don't need another Jaycee Dugard story"
Another followed with, "Sickens me that these sex offenders have more protection then innocent children."
It is illegal to harass Mr. Pitts, but there are no restrictions on citizens watching him and his activities while in public. Many would add that it is also your duty as a community member to share this information with your fellow community members so they can watch his actions and report any suspicious actions to authorities.
Pitts was convicted of:
207(b) - KIDNAPPING A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF 14 YEARS OLD WITH INTENT TO COMMIT LEWD OR LASCIVIOUS ACTS;
311.11(a) - POSSESS OR CONTROL OBSCENE MATTER DEPICTING MINOR IN SEXUAL CONDUCT
Michael Conan Pitts, AKA Mike Pitts, was born on 12-11-1976. He has BLUE eyes and BLOND/STRAWB colored hair.
If you believe that a child is in danger or has been the victim of a crime, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately at 911.
The Sex Offender Registration Tips(SORT) is designed to provide members of the community an opportunity to report sex offenders failing to comply with registration laws,employment or residency restriction laws, possible violations or probation or parole or offenders in positions of trust with children. Website: http://www.parentsformeganslaw.org/sortReport/sortReport.jsp
If you are interested in following the El Dorado County Watch page on Facebook, it can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/376286302473167/
For release information and crimes of M. Pitts: http://inedc.com/1-2065