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Long IslandCrime

Long Beach cops: Sex offender followed minor from school bus

A homeless convicted sex offender followed a minor home from a school bus on Monday, repeatedly intimidating the juvenile, Long Beach police officials said.

Jose Rodriguez, 48, was arrested by Long Beach police on Tuesday and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, a Class A misdemeanor. 

Rodriguez was arraigned in Long Beach City Court on Thursday where Judge William Miller set bail at $100,000 cash or bond. Rodriguez also was ordered to stay away from the victim.

“When the initial report came in, we immediately recognized the modus operandi and description of the subject," said Det. Lt. Stefan Chernaski, commanding officer of the department's detectives bureau. "The subject was apprehended by Det. Thomas Rourke 15 minutes after he was positively identified.

"The swift identification and apprehension of this undomiciled defendant is a testament to local policing and our extensive knowledge of this community and its history.”

Garret Rooney, Rodriguez's defense attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Police officials said Rodriguez followed the minor from a school bus, repeatedly attempting to talk, intimidate and pressure the minor. 

Rodriguez is a registered Level 3 sex offender, the most serious designation, with a past conviction for first-degree rape by forcible compulsion. He has been arrested twice before by Long Beach police in 2004 for endangering the welfare of a child and stalking and was convicted, police said.

Rodriguez is due back in court Nov. 22.

Superintendent Jennifer Gallagher posted a message on the Long Beach public schools website to inform parents about the incident. "These frightening incidents remind us all to speak with our children about travel safety — staying in groups when possible, not speaking with strangers, and immediately reaching out for help when needed," she wrote in the message. "We are grateful for the police officers whose quick work apprehended this person."

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