DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Davie Police say an alert father checked his 14-year-old daughter’s Facebook activity, noticed an inappropriate conversation with an adult man and contacted investigators. Days later that man, Kevin McDonald, 28, was in jail facing criminal charges.
Investigators say what this father did is what every parent should be doing — checking their child’s social media activity and questioning them about anything suspicious.
“I don’t think you can quantify how often this happens,” said Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle. “I think it happens more often than people want to admit. I think it happens all the time. I think if we had the resources we could arrest a lot more people for this.”
Davie Police say this case began with a Facebook friend request from McDonald to the girl and continued with McDonald’s repeated desire to meet the teen, who he called gorgeous. The girl’s father checked her Facebook activity and got concerned.
“He realizes that this is an inappropriate conversation and he alerts the police which is the right thing to do,” Engle said.
Davie Police say they worked with the family and continued the conversation. They say McDonald sent inappropriate pictures and made lewd comments. Plus, he wanted to meet the girl.
“He was very persistent,” Engle said.
Investigators arrested McDonald when he showed up to meet the teen at a Davie shopping plaza. The arrest report says McDonald told police, “he knew the girl was only 14, that he wasn’t going to rape her and what he was doing was wrong.”
At his bond court hearing McDonald wept.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
McDonald’s public defender told the court that McDonald has a learning disability. His sister, Lisa McDonald, told us McDonald struggles with mental health issues.
“He knows what he did is wrong (and we’re) trying to get him help,” she said. “I definitely feel bad for her family or anybody he has hurt.”
Kevin McDonald was ordered not to use the internet or have contact with children.
Police offer parents some other important advice — make sure your children know that not everyone they meet on social media has their best intentions in mind. Also, they say it’s not enough to check your child’s smartphone. They suggest checking their tablet, their laptop and any other internet connected device they’re using.
“We have to be responsible adults and monitor what our children are doing online,” Engle said.
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