WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The perfect Saturday afternoon for little league players quickly took a turn when a stranger was caught snapping photos of children.
“Why are you taking pictures? Why are you taking video? You don’t have kids here, you don’t have grandkids here,” said Annie Farrell who was in the park with her 7-year-old and overheard the altercation.
Instantly Farrell had a sinking feeling.
“I was afraid that they’d find more on the phone than just kids playing baseball,” she said.
Parents confronted the man, not only to ask what he was doing but detained him and took his cell phone — confirming their greatest fears.
“That phone had suspected child pornography on it,” said Sgt. Roger Kinney, a West Sacramento Police Department spokesperson.
Officers were called to the park and arrested 57-year-old David Smith. Parents gave investigators the phone and Smith was charged with a single count of having obscene matter in his possession.
A local attorney told CBS13 the law doesn’t prohibit anyone in public from taking pictures, even of children. But because the citizens took the phone and alerted police, they were able to find those pornographic images — evidence that allowed police to skip the warrant and make an arrest.
“We’re hoping this is an isolated incident, but we will certainly have officers in that area,” said Sgt. Kinney.
While Farrell is grateful Smith is in custody, it certainly wasn’t easy explaining to her 7-year-old what happened.
“He’s probably just thinking, ‘Oh they’re just taking pictures of kids playing baseball,’ but as an adult you know he could possibly be taking pictures of kids in other compromising positions,” she said.