Florida police searched Friday for a man suspected of sexually assaulting children in New York who had been briefly detained and then released.
Police in Pinellas Park in the Tampa area questioned Jesse P. Sawyer, 25, on Thursday after locating him at Calvary Chapel, a church. Sgt. Adam Geissenberger said he was released after an hour because the FBI had been unable to confirm an arrest warrant.
The confirmation arrived soon after but by that time, Geissenberger said, Sawyer could not be found.
Sawyer, a resident of Troy, N.Y., had been camping in the overflow area of a church homeless shelter. Police in Troy charge that he filmed himself having sex with children, including at least one under the age of 5.
Geissenberger told the Albany Times-Union that reports Sawyer made a dramatic escape through a window when police returned for him are incorrect.
"Sawyer did not jump out a window and did not escape custody because he was never legally in custody. He has certain rights," Geissenberger said. "Just after we let him go, the FBI confirmation came through so now we are searching for him."