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Woman fires warning shot at intruder, a convicted sex offender

OCOEE, Fla., Nov. 1 (UPI) -- An Ocoee, Fla., woman fired warning shots at a man who was staring into her windows, and who turned out to be a convicted sex offender, police said.

Betsy Cornele was at home Oct. 20 with her three young daughters when she heard a neighbor, Pedro Comacho, screaming about a man in her back yard. Comacho said the man was standing on Cornele's porch and looking into her windows.

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The alleged intruder was Bobby James Harris, 53, who Ocoee police said was convicted of child sex crimes in 1991, 1995 and 1996. Police said he was arrested in July 2013 in Apopka, Fla., on charges of criminal mischief, exposure of sexual organs and petit theft, and was being sought by police because he was not living at the address he submitted to law enforcement.

Florida law requires convicted sex offenders to notify police of their most recent addresses.

Seeing Harris flee from her back yard, Cornele drew her gun and fired a warning shot into the ground. Harris jumped over a 4-foot fence and escaped on a bicycle, the Orlando Sentinel said Friday.

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"We'll take matters into our own hands if we have to, to protect our kids," Cornele said.

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