Sex Offender Arrested After Trying to ‘Lure’ Girl, 4, Into Covina Park Restroom: Police

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An out-of-compliance sex offender who allegedly tried to “lure” a young girl into the men’s bathroom of a Covina park was arrested Friday, police said.

Matthew James Smith is seen in a booking photo released by the Covina Police Department on April 1, 2016.

Matthew James Smith is seen in a booking photo released by the Covina Police Department on April 1, 2016.

Officers responded to Covina City Park about 11 a.m. after a woman reported that a man had tried to lure her 4-year-old daughter into a public restroom, according to a news release from the Covina Police Department.

She intervened and was able to stop the little girl from going with the man. She did not confront him, instead calling police and watching the man until police arrived, the release stated.

Responding officers located the suspect — identified  by police as 49-year-old Matthew James Smith — at the park and detained him.

Smith initially denied having any contact with the girl. He was later arrested on suspicion of child annoyance after being positively identified, the release stated.

Police later discovered that Smith, a transient, was an out of compliance sex registrant. He was also booked on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

Smith is being held on $20,000 bail at the Covina Police Department, according to the release. His arraignment is scheduled to take place Monday.

Anyone with additional information has been asked to contact Covina police by dialing 626-384-5628 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.  Callers are asked to refer to case No. 16-09175.

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