THIS STORY WAS UPDATED ON 7/20/17
WEST PARK (CBSMiami) – Using the promise of candy as bait, a Hollywood man stood accused of trying to lure two young children to get on a bus with him. However, after months of investigating, prosecutors decided to drop the charges against Damian Fletcher.
According to an arrest report, Fletcher, 32, tried to tempt two children, ages 9 and 11, inside the Carver Ranches Brach Library on SW 18th Street in West Park on a Saturday in 2015. The kids were using a computer in the library when Carver approached them, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“Hey, would you like some candy,” Fletcher asked the children, according to the arrest report. “Come with me on the bus and we will go get candy together, and then I can take you places, come on.”
He also tried a different approach, according to the report.
“I want to give you a hug, come here and give me a hug,” Fletcher allegedly told the children.
Fletcher’s pants were open and he wasn’t wearing any underwear, according to the sheriff’s office.
The kids ran and told their parents what had happened. The parents told investigators they have never seen Fletcher before. According to the closeout memo provided to CBS4 News by the Broward State Attorney’s Office, a deputy “heard Mr. Fletcher utter under his breath, ‘(expletive) man I just wanted some (expletive).'”
At a court hearing after his arrest, Judge John Hurley said the seriousness of the charges demanded that Fletcher be held on a high bond of $150,000.
“The court is concerned that you are allegedly approaching two young girls and trying to lure them away on a bus to get them away from the area,” Hurley told Fletcher. “You do represent a danger to the community, young girls in the community.”
Fletcher was charged with two counts of trying to lure/entice a minor, a first degree misdemeanor. However, ultimately, prosecutors decided to drop the case.
According to prosecutors, the case headed towards trial but the case fell apart as the mother of the older victim failed to respond to requests for her child to appear in court. At that point, prosecutors weighed whether to move forward.
“Due to the length of time that Mr. Fletcher had been in custody — 700 days, he had already served beyond the maximum penalty for both counts consecutive,” the closeout memo states.
Finally, prosecutors decided against putting the young victims through the anguish of a trial and dropped the charges late last year.
“After every issue was discussed at length, it was decided in the best interest of both girls to not proceed through the distress of trial, when there was no further penalty to Mr. Fletcher,” the prosecutors decided.