Monday, December 3, 2007

FL - Lauderdale woman (Valerie Parkhurst) faces charges after confrontation with sex offender

View the article here

If the man/women did not threaten her in any way, then she doesn't have a right to just pull a gun on someone and threaten to kill them, regardless of who they are.  If they threatened her, then she has every right to protect herself.

12/03/2007

Davie - As Valerie Parkhurst (aka Valigator) was warning neighbors about sex offenders, one of them turned down the street.

She confronted him at gunpoint, and ended up in jail.

Parkhurst, 52, said Monday she was surprised police arrested her after the confrontation with [name withheld], 49, in the Playland Village neighborhood on Saturday. She was charged with aggravated assault and two counts of carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.

"I had a convicted sex offender, kidnapper who cornered me," Parkhurst said. "I don't expect to be convicted on any one of those [charges] because I was in the right."

[name withheld] was convicted in 1996 of abducting and raping a Walton County woman, according to state records. He served nine years and was released from prison in May 2005

Lt. Wayne Boulier, Davie police spokesman, said he can understand that neighbors are concerned when a registered sex offender moves into a community.

"Still, that doesn't justify pulling out a gun and threatening to kill people," he said.

Police said in a report released Monday that [name withheld] and [girlfriend name withheld] were driving on the 4600 block of Southwest 66th Avenue at 1:50 p.m. Saturday. They were headed to a thrift shop to buy clothes when they came upon Parkhurst, who was posting fliers of sex offenders in the area. Parkhurst recognized [name withheld] and thought he was following her. So she got out of her Chevy SUV, pulled 9-millimeter Glock from a holster, and told [name withheld] she would kill him, police said.

[girlfriend name withheld], who was behind the wheel, froze and could not drive away, police said. Parkhurst went back to her SUV, grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun, pointed it into the pair's car and again threatened to kill [name withheld], police said.

"It's a vigilante-style move," [name withheld] said Monday. "She has no right to blow me away."

Parkhurst disputes the police account, saying that [name withheld] and [girlfriend name withheld] stalked her after they saw her put up the fliers at [name withheld]' complex hours earlier. Parkhurst said they blocked her in at a dead-end street. When she got out of her truck to ask what they were doing, Parkhurst said [name withheld] threatened her in a profanity-laced rant.
- So it's Valerie's word against two other people and probably others who witnessed it?  Valerie accuses people of BS all the time.

Valerie at a local bar
That's when Parkhurst, mother of an adult son, threatened to shoot him if he touched her, she said. When [name withheld] continued to swear at her, she grabbed the shotgun she keeps in her SUV for her and her boyfriend's weekly clay shooting practice.

"I figured if the pistol didn't scare him, maybe the shotgun would," Parkhurst said. "I stood there with the shotgun and said, 'If you come near me, I promise you, I will shoot you.'"

[name withheld] called police. The officer arrested Parkhurst because she does not have a permit for either fully-loaded gun, police said. [girlfriend name withheld] and [name withheld] were "terrified that she was going to kill them," the police report states.

Parkhurst posted $6,000 bond and was released from jail Sunday, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Parkhurst said she didn't think she needed permits, because they weapons were not concealed. Also, this is the first time she's had such a confrontation with an offender, in the many years since she's been posting fliers in Playland Village, where she owns a home, she said. She lives in Fort Lauderdale.

"The Department of Corrections will drop them off anywhere and hope that nobody notices," she said. "But I scream. I'm not going to have [Playland Village] be a dumping ground for sex offenders."

[name withheld]' rap sheet goes back to 1977 and includes other convictions for trespassing, cocaine possession, culpable negligence, battery, theft and carrying a concealed weapon. He said he became a law clerk while incarcerated and has been working off-and-on in different cities since his release.
- So what about Valerie's criminal record?  I'm sure she has one, and if I recall, last I checked, she has an extensive rap sheet herself.

[name withheld] said he's dealt with angry residents before, in many neighborhoods he has lived in. He said many people mistake registered sex offenders for pedophiles.

"I don't hold it against anybody to protect their children," [name withheld] said. "I just wish that all this money spent... some of it would be spent on educating the community."

Nancy Cotterman, director of Broward's Sexual Assault Treatment Center, said the confrontation represents a conflict between those who want to help their communities, and offenders who are trying to help themselves.

"You don't want people taking the law into their own hands, because that could jeopardize well-meaning people's safety," she said. "But at the same time, we are each other's keepers and we all have the responsibility to keep each other alert."

"For those sex offenders who are making every attempt to be law-abiding and to re-engage and be fully-functioning citizens, you have to support them. There's a balance to be found there somewhere," she said.

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