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Man interested in 11-year-old girl at Mance Buchanon Park

Case goes to court

Mance Buchanon Park
Mance Buchanon Park



Mom Melissa is a curvy woman with long blonde hair. She came into the courtroom with a determined stride and testified at a pre-trial hearing on July 10. Melissa told the judge she has four children, aged 17, 13, 11 and 5 years old.


In April of this year Melissa drove to the Mance Buchanon Park on College Boulevard in Oceanside. There are five soccer fields plus playgrounds and bathroom structures at that park. At least six different soccer teams were holding practice that Thursday afternoon, April 27. 


Melissa’s 13-year-old daughter Chloe had soccer practice, and her 11-year-old sister Kaylie wanted to watch her sister practice while mom took the car to fill up at a nearby gasoline station. Mom said she dropped off her daughters at 4:15 and “I went to get gas.”


Mom said she was gone eight minutes. She was confident of her daughter Kaylie, “She normally does not go off by herself” and when Mom drove away she was “sitting there making her jewelry.”


When Mom returned and pulled into the parking spot, she saw Kaylie, “She came running to me crying and she was extremely upset.” Her daughter said there was a strange man behind her, a couple feet away, and he spoke to her and asked if she played soccer. “ 'He was slurring his words funny,'  Kaylie said. The child answered him 'No' and ran away and he said, 'I will talk to you later, see you later.' 


(Kaylie ran to Chloe’s coach, who told her, “Stay with me here until your mom gets back.”)


The child pointed out the stranger, and Mom saw him, “He was leaning over on the light post with something in his hand,” she did not know what he was holding. The man was perhaps 50 feet away, standing in some bushes, at that time. 


When Mom testified three months later, in July, she identified the man seated at the defense table as that same man.


The man's DNA is already on file and can be found on California’s sex offender website.


“I immediately called my husband,” Melissa testified. Then she called Oceanside police, using their non-emergency line. They waited for police, it took about an hour, and Kaylie stayed close because “She was so freaked.” The strange man sometimes took off and went for a walk, and then he would come back, and stand by a tree and he looked around, Melissa testified. There was another, younger girl who kept staring at him, “So I asked her, did that person come talk to you? She said no but he followed her on the walk path for a while.”


When soccer practice was over they walked back toward their car, and Kaylie looked back at the man and saw him waving at her. “He smiled and waved goodbye,” Mom testified. She believed the man was maybe 20 feet away at that moment.


Police showed up just as the soccer practice was ending.


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Oceanside police officer David Unrath testified that he works patrol, and at 5:25 p.m. he arrived at the park, responding to a “non-emergency, suspicious subject following children” call. The officer noted that Cesar Chavez Middle School is directly across the street from that park.


“Kaylie told me that she was waiting by herself while mom went for gas,” the cop testified. “While she was by herself a male subject approached her and asked her if she played soccer. She described the male as ‘creepy’ and she ran away from him, and the male waved at her and said ‘I’ll see you later’ and that disturbed her.” The mom and child reported the man was looking at Kaylie and waving at her, and he was hiding behind bushes, and “He seemed fixated on her.”


Officer Unrath identified the defendant as the man he arrested.


“I found out that he is on County Probation on a sex offense. He had to register as 290,” the cop said the suspect was a mandatory sex offender registrant. “His demeanor was that he didn’t do anything wrong and was confused while I detained him. All he said was that he spoke with the child and asked if she played soccer and that was it.” The suspect was standing outside one of the restrooms when he was contacted by the cop.


At the pre-trial hearing, after the witnesses finished testifying, prosecutor Nikki Estrada moved a “certified rap sheet” into evidence. The prosecutor said that because the defendant has a prior conviction for the same offense, the new alleged “bother child” is charged as a felony. 


“He has been arrested five times in the past, he has two convictions for annoying small girls the same age as this girl,” the prosecutor told the judge. “He has an abnormal sexual interest in little girls.” The prosecutor said he has a prior felony conviction and has served prison time.


Defense attorney Crystal Salavides protested, “There is nothing abnormal about asking a child if she plays soccer while there are soccer games going on.” Defense pointed out, “They stayed there an hour after he spoke to her, if it was so offensive they probably would have left.” Salavides suggested it was only friendly, non-criminal activity, there was nothing lewd nor obscene that would offend a normal person. And Salavides asserted that “See you later” can be a colloquial way of saying goodbye, “even if we have no intent to see that person later.”


Judge David  Brown read from precedent case law, stating that “annoy means to disturb or irritate,” and even taking a photograph of a minor can be offensive or an irritation. The judge declared that a lewd act is not required, and ordered the defendant to answer a felony charge of “bother child.” The defendant pleads not guilty and is held in lieu of $20,000 bail. His trial date is set for August 28, 2023.




PREVIOUS INCIDENT FROM LATE 2021:


“On Friday, November 5, 2021, my wife and I were in the truck when our ring camera went off. My wife answered the ring on speaker, speaking to a man who was at my front door, holding flowers in his hands. He simply stated that he is homeless and needs help. My wife explained she couldn’t help him, wished him well, and suggested he leave. About five minutes later, he reappeared and my wife and him had the same conversation and she again asked him to leave. When he appeared a third time at our doorstep, this time he said, ‘Ma’am, I’m going to be honest with you. I followed the two girls home. One of them is cute and I want to start a family.’ This was obviously concerning, that he had referenced ‘starting a family’ with our 11-year-old daughter, or her 11-year-old friend. 


"While he was still talking to my wife, I called my neighbor, Joe Trujillo, to go over there, to make sure the girls were safe. When Joe arrived, the man was still there with small flower pots in each hand. As soon as we saw Joe was there on our camera, my wife hung up and called 911. The police went to the house and he had left by the time they arrived, but they were clearly familiar with him and found him later in the day and arrested him.

After his arrest, we learned he had told both Joe and the officer ‘I wasn’t going to rape or hurt them.’ Joe also informed us that he has seen him  lurking around with the two flower pots prior to the girls getting out of school, which led him to believe he had seen the girls earlier in the day or prior.  He is still in custody, facing (bother child counts)….I’ve since learned he has an extensive criminal record…”


For that November 2021 incident the subject was arrested by deputies in San Marcos and held in lieu of $60,000 bail.


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Mance Buchanon Park
Mance Buchanon Park



Mom Melissa is a curvy woman with long blonde hair. She came into the courtroom with a determined stride and testified at a pre-trial hearing on July 10. Melissa told the judge she has four children, aged 17, 13, 11 and 5 years old.


In April of this year Melissa drove to the Mance Buchanon Park on College Boulevard in Oceanside. There are five soccer fields plus playgrounds and bathroom structures at that park. At least six different soccer teams were holding practice that Thursday afternoon, April 27. 


Melissa’s 13-year-old daughter Chloe had soccer practice, and her 11-year-old sister Kaylie wanted to watch her sister practice while mom took the car to fill up at a nearby gasoline station. Mom said she dropped off her daughters at 4:15 and “I went to get gas.”


Mom said she was gone eight minutes. She was confident of her daughter Kaylie, “She normally does not go off by herself” and when Mom drove away she was “sitting there making her jewelry.”


When Mom returned and pulled into the parking spot, she saw Kaylie, “She came running to me crying and she was extremely upset.” Her daughter said there was a strange man behind her, a couple feet away, and he spoke to her and asked if she played soccer. “ 'He was slurring his words funny,'  Kaylie said. The child answered him 'No' and ran away and he said, 'I will talk to you later, see you later.' 


(Kaylie ran to Chloe’s coach, who told her, “Stay with me here until your mom gets back.”)


The child pointed out the stranger, and Mom saw him, “He was leaning over on the light post with something in his hand,” she did not know what he was holding. The man was perhaps 50 feet away, standing in some bushes, at that time. 


When Mom testified three months later, in July, she identified the man seated at the defense table as that same man.


The man's DNA is already on file and can be found on California’s sex offender website.


“I immediately called my husband,” Melissa testified. Then she called Oceanside police, using their non-emergency line. They waited for police, it took about an hour, and Kaylie stayed close because “She was so freaked.” The strange man sometimes took off and went for a walk, and then he would come back, and stand by a tree and he looked around, Melissa testified. There was another, younger girl who kept staring at him, “So I asked her, did that person come talk to you? She said no but he followed her on the walk path for a while.”


When soccer practice was over they walked back toward their car, and Kaylie looked back at the man and saw him waving at her. “He smiled and waved goodbye,” Mom testified. She believed the man was maybe 20 feet away at that moment.


Police showed up just as the soccer practice was ending.


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Oceanside police officer David Unrath testified that he works patrol, and at 5:25 p.m. he arrived at the park, responding to a “non-emergency, suspicious subject following children” call. The officer noted that Cesar Chavez Middle School is directly across the street from that park.


“Kaylie told me that she was waiting by herself while mom went for gas,” the cop testified. “While she was by herself a male subject approached her and asked her if she played soccer. She described the male as ‘creepy’ and she ran away from him, and the male waved at her and said ‘I’ll see you later’ and that disturbed her.” The mom and child reported the man was looking at Kaylie and waving at her, and he was hiding behind bushes, and “He seemed fixated on her.”


Officer Unrath identified the defendant as the man he arrested.


“I found out that he is on County Probation on a sex offense. He had to register as 290,” the cop said the suspect was a mandatory sex offender registrant. “His demeanor was that he didn’t do anything wrong and was confused while I detained him. All he said was that he spoke with the child and asked if she played soccer and that was it.” The suspect was standing outside one of the restrooms when he was contacted by the cop.


At the pre-trial hearing, after the witnesses finished testifying, prosecutor Nikki Estrada moved a “certified rap sheet” into evidence. The prosecutor said that because the defendant has a prior conviction for the same offense, the new alleged “bother child” is charged as a felony. 


“He has been arrested five times in the past, he has two convictions for annoying small girls the same age as this girl,” the prosecutor told the judge. “He has an abnormal sexual interest in little girls.” The prosecutor said he has a prior felony conviction and has served prison time.


Defense attorney Crystal Salavides protested, “There is nothing abnormal about asking a child if she plays soccer while there are soccer games going on.” Defense pointed out, “They stayed there an hour after he spoke to her, if it was so offensive they probably would have left.” Salavides suggested it was only friendly, non-criminal activity, there was nothing lewd nor obscene that would offend a normal person. And Salavides asserted that “See you later” can be a colloquial way of saying goodbye, “even if we have no intent to see that person later.”


Judge David  Brown read from precedent case law, stating that “annoy means to disturb or irritate,” and even taking a photograph of a minor can be offensive or an irritation. The judge declared that a lewd act is not required, and ordered the defendant to answer a felony charge of “bother child.” The defendant pleads not guilty and is held in lieu of $20,000 bail. His trial date is set for August 28, 2023.




PREVIOUS INCIDENT FROM LATE 2021:


“On Friday, November 5, 2021, my wife and I were in the truck when our ring camera went off. My wife answered the ring on speaker, speaking to a man who was at my front door, holding flowers in his hands. He simply stated that he is homeless and needs help. My wife explained she couldn’t help him, wished him well, and suggested he leave. About five minutes later, he reappeared and my wife and him had the same conversation and she again asked him to leave. When he appeared a third time at our doorstep, this time he said, ‘Ma’am, I’m going to be honest with you. I followed the two girls home. One of them is cute and I want to start a family.’ This was obviously concerning, that he had referenced ‘starting a family’ with our 11-year-old daughter, or her 11-year-old friend. 


"While he was still talking to my wife, I called my neighbor, Joe Trujillo, to go over there, to make sure the girls were safe. When Joe arrived, the man was still there with small flower pots in each hand. As soon as we saw Joe was there on our camera, my wife hung up and called 911. The police went to the house and he had left by the time they arrived, but they were clearly familiar with him and found him later in the day and arrested him.

After his arrest, we learned he had told both Joe and the officer ‘I wasn’t going to rape or hurt them.’ Joe also informed us that he has seen him  lurking around with the two flower pots prior to the girls getting out of school, which led him to believe he had seen the girls earlier in the day or prior.  He is still in custody, facing (bother child counts)….I’ve since learned he has an extensive criminal record…”


For that November 2021 incident the subject was arrested by deputies in San Marcos and held in lieu of $60,000 bail.


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