Convicted sex offender allegedly offering jobs to teen boys is arrested

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WHAS11.com

Posted on September 9, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 5:14 PM

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(WHAS11) - A convicted sex offender who was allegedly approaching boys and offering them jobs has now been arrested.

After WHAS11 News showed the picture of one boy on the air and WHAS11.com on Monday, 45 minutes later he was found safe.

That teenager had walked off with the man and disappeared for nearly eight hours.

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Parents in both Louisville and New Albany can breathe easier knowing that a man who may have been targeting teenage boys is off the street.

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WHAS11 News was there when the suspect, James Ford, was taken into custody.

35-year-old James Ford didn't want to answer our questions as he was led away in handcuffs this afternoon.

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Ford was arrested by Deputy Jamie Brooks, who lured him to a meeting with another young man after learning that Ford had trespassed on the Liberty High School campus.

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Ford was supposedly staying with a cousin in the neighborhood when two teenage boys agreed to meet him to interview for a job at Waffle House Monday.

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But he is registered as a sex offender in New Albany, where he is well known to many young people in the community.

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Tammy Hardin says ford approached her son last week near a park bench along Spring Street in New Albany.

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He allegedly offered the boy a job at the New Albany Waffle House, came to his house and even paid him in advance.

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"He gave my son a check that was supposedly for $900 and I took it to the bank the next morning," says Tammy Hardin.

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The bank told her the check was a fake and she soon learned Ford's story was too, when she inquired about him at the Waffle House.

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Hardin says she believes Ford wanted to molest her son, but said he never tried anything obvious.

This is where my son was brought the first evening that he talked to him.

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Hardin says her son was brought to an abandoned house littered with beer cans and liquor bottles the first evening that Ford talked to him.

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Ford is in jail on a misdemeanor charge.

Authorities hope that potential victims will recognize him and stay away from him once he is released.

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