SAN DIEGO – A town hall meeting Sunday drew hundreds of residents fighting to keep a sexually violent predator out of their Rancho Bernardo neighborhood.
“Children run through these streets,” resident Jeff Grace said. “There’s probably 200 children within 200 yards of this proposed site. It’s kind of it takes a village to raise the kids, we’re all involved with each others’ kids.”
Douglas Badger, 78, has been recommended for conditional release into a home at 17836 Frondoso Drive. A court hearing on the merits of the proposed location is set for Oct. 29, during which the public may weigh in on whether the location is appropriate.
Badger was convicted of offenses that include child molestation, kidnapping and forcible oral copulation, with his victims predominately being male strangers, many of them hitchhikers, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.
Grace and his family live just a few hundred feet from the proposed home for Badger. He is spearheading the protest against the idea.
“My son Jack cried the other day and said we have to move,” he said.
He and the hundreds of Rancho Bernardo residents are working hand-in-hand with former San Diego Councilmember Carl DeMaio and Mount Helix residents who successfully fought off a proposal to place Badger in their neighborhood just months ago.
“It didn’t go in our neighborhood, it goes in your neighborhood,” a Mount Helix resident said. “It doesn’t work there, then they’re going to find another place and it’s going to keep happening until we make enough fuss and have legislation changed in the state of California to stop this.”
DeMaio added that there will be consequences if the problem isn’t fixed.
“If we don’t fix the overall problem of politicians turning a blind eye to these dangerous sexual predators being placed in residential neighborhoods with children, then we’re just going to continue to have neighborhood after neighborhood under assault,” he said.
City News Service contributed to this report.