By ROBIN . . . Here’s a fun challenge for anyone who’s got some extra time on his hands and wants to test his capacity for expanding the intellect. Read the following, predictable story out of the very forward thinking town of Dallas, NC, and whenever you see the phrase “registered sex offenders” replace those words with any of the following words or phrases:
- African Americans
- Illegal aliens
- Opioid addicts
If you’ll play along with an open mind and objective perspective, you’ll probably find it very easy to see who the REALLY evil people are in the narrative. And, once you’ve run out of things to consider, give some thought to this: Suppose we knew where every single person convicted of drunk driving lived. Would that make anyone any safer?
DALLAS, N.C. — The Gaston County Sheriff’s Office is squashing social media rumors of a registered sex offender halfway house in the middle of a popular Dallas neighborhood that left families worried for their children’s safety.
Deputies said the rumors started after residents in the Summey Knoll subdivision reported two registered sex offenders were living in a house less than 500 feet from a registered daycare, which is illegal.
Assistant Chief Deputy Garry Williams said the sheriff’s office had initially approved the men’s request to live in the neighborhood, unaware of the daycare’s existence, which is located in an unmarked house.
Williams said investigators determined the men were living too close to the daycare and ordered them to leave.
One man did leave, but investigators said the other man, George McDowell, lied and said he also left the neighborhood.
“My deputies, doing some further investigation, found that he was still staying in the Summey Knoll development,” Williams said.
Deputies arrested McDowell, but investigators said false rumors continued to spread on Facebook that the house McDowell had lived in was a halfway house to rehabilitate sex offenders.
“Unfortunately that’s a common occurrence in today’s society,” Williams explained. “Everybody wants to go to social media to vent and post things.”
Wiliams said he’s not aware of any type of halfway homes for sex offenders in North Carolina.
Kyle Creed is a father who lives in the Summey Knoll neighborhood.
“A lot of concerned parents, obviously,” Creed said. “But, we all understood some of it to be rumor.”
Still, deputies are hosting a community meeting Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in the Dallas Civic Center behind the police department to answer questions and dispel rumors about the case.
NBC Charlotte also spoke at length with McDowell’s mother who said she wasn’t aware of the halfway house rumors until the TV station brought it to her attention.
McDowell’s mother said the social media rumors were false, and the home is her primary residence. She insisted her son moved out of the neighborhood immediately after being ordered to by deputies.
McDowell is facing two felonies for failure to register related to falsification of verification notice and sex offender residence violation. He’s expected to have his first appearance in court on Thursday afternoon.