According to Riverhead police, a sex offender approached an 11-year-old boy twice last week in front of and gave him money, asking him if he wanted to be his friend.
Riverhead Central School District Superintendent Nancy Carney said a school crossing guard spotted the man, "recognized the perpetrator and alerted uniformed officers."
The man was arrested on loitering charges and remains at Suffolk County Jail with bail set at $10,000.
The level-two sex offender, 76-year-old Donald Brown, was found guilty in 1998 of sodomizing a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy and subsequently served a little over a year and a half in prison. His parole expired in 2005, according to the New York State Department of Corrections.
According to police, Brown lives at the Budget Host Inn in Riverside.
According to Riverhead police, Brown engaged the 11-year-old boy in conversation last week on Tuesday and Friday morning, both times around 8:15 a.m.
Carney said a letter will be sent home with students alerting their parents about the incident. She added that the district's internal security guards have all been informed about the incident, as have school administrators, and all paying extra attention as students come and go from school.
"The safety of our students is the top priority for every employee of the Riverhead Central School District and we will do what is necessary to protect our students," Carney said via email. "I urge parents to remind their children that if they are approached by a stranger, they should alert a trusted adult immediately."