Sexual predator arrested for failing to register



A sexual predator was arrested Monday, Feb. 11, and charged with failing to register his whereabouts. According to the arrest report issued by the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), David Emrick, 60, had absconded from his last known address in rural Branford and moved to Okeechobee without notifying law enforcement or the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

According to John Born, Emrick’s brother, Emrick came to Okeechobee to visit him in September 2018 but then never left town. Claiming he was having health problems and needed to be hospitalized, Emrick was transported to Raulerson Hospital via Okeechobee County Fire Rescue on Feb. 6, and Mr. Born later received texts claiming Emrick was being transferred to JFK Hospital in Atlantis, but he did not know if this was true. Mr. Born told Deputy Tyler Ott he believed Emrick would stay in a motel near the center of town if he were still in the area, but none of the motels had anyone of that name registered there.

On Feb. 11, the OCSO received information that Emrick could be found at a home on Northwest 39th Circle, and Cpl. Kristin Gray found him at that address and placed him under arrest. At that time, he complained of chest pain and was transported to Raulerson Hospital for treatment.

Emrick was originally arrested in 1988 in Collier County and convicted of sexual battery/coercion of a child by an adult. He was released from the Glades Correctional Institution in January 2000 and first registered in Okeechobee County in February 2004, where according to Public Information Officer Michele Bell, they never had any trouble with him until November 2007 when he was arrested in Clanton, Ala., after being caught there with a 15-year-old runaway girl from Levy County, Fla.

In that case, Emrick was charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child and one count of interference with child custody. According to the arresting officer, Lt. Evan Sullivan, it appeared Emrick and the young girl had been chatting through a Boost chat program for about five months leading up to her running away and meeting up with Emrick.

After his discharge from the hospital, Emrick will be transported to the jail for booking. His bond was set at $5,000.

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