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Parents concerned about sex offenders on Halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 6:36pm

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA) -- East Baton Rouge parish observes Halloween this Sunday night, but some kids won't be hitting the streets in hopes of filling their bags with candy. Some parents expressed concern about registered sex offenders living in their neighborhoods. They don't want their children accidentally meeting up with an offender on Halloween night.

Ashley Conrad is one of those parents. She has six children. Conrad lives in the Gardere area. She says the neighborhood doesn't get a whole lot of trick-or-treaters, something she actually considers to be a good thing.

"It's very scary for your children to be out there. There are sex offenders in the area," she says. "You never know what's happening."

State police say there are 572 registered sex offenders in East Baton Rouge. Some areas are more populated with those offenders than others. An iPhone application showed a fairly large number of sex offenders living in the Gardere area. It's a frightening number for moms in the neighborhood.

"There's one that rides his bike up and down the street," says Conrad.

Yolanda Wooden lives right across the street from a registered sex offender. She keeps up-to-date with the Sex Offender Registry online, so she knows what she's dealing with.

"If one moves in within a mile of my house, I'm aware of it," says Wooden.

Wooden, like many parents in the area, doesn't allow her nieces or nephews to trick-or-treat in the area. They go to other parts of the parish that might be considered safer.

"We never know when they'll bother our kids," she says.

Registered sex offenders are completely banned by law from giving out candy or attending Halloween parties where there might be children, but parents say not everyone follows the rules.

"He might be in the phase where he's thinking that this is his night," Conrad says. "Might be the easiest way to get it."

That's why Conrad keeps her kids inside on Halloween. Instead of trick-or-treating, they make popcorn and watch movies. This year, though, Conrad has different plans for her kids. They'll be attending the third annual Halloween party thrown by the EBR Sheriff's Office. Kids and their parents can show up at the Elvin St. BREC Park on Sunday night around 5 for an evening of music, games, costume contests, and trick-or-treating. Deputies actually accompany kids while they trick-or-treat, saying its the best way to keep the tradition of Halloween alive while also keeping children safe.

Deputies say trick-or-treaters should stay in familiar neighborhoods and always trick-or-treat with adults. They caution children from going inside a stranger's house or car and only approach houses that are lit.

Below, you'll find the list of dates and times that each parish plans to observe Halloween.

Saturday October 30 from 5:30 to 7:30pm

Ascension Parish
Sunday October 31st from 6-8 p.m.

Assumption Parish
Sunday October 31st from 5-7 p.m.

City of Central
Sunday October 31st from 6-8 p.m.

Denham Springs
Sunday October 31st from 6-8pm

East Baton Rouge Parish (incl. Baker and Zachary)
Sunday October 31st from 6-8 p.m.

East Feliciana Parish
Jackson – Saturday October 30th dark-8pm

Iberville Parish
Sunday October 31st from 6-8 p.m.

Livingston Parish (Rural Areas)
Monday November 1st from 6-9 p.m.

Pointe Coupee Parish
New Roads – Sunday October 31st from 5-7pm
Livonia – Sunday October 31st from 6-7:30pm

St. Helena Parish
Sunday October 31st from 6-8pm

St. James Parish
Sunday October 31st from 5-7pm

Tangipahoa Parish
Hammond – Sunday October 31st from 6-8 pm
Amite – Saturday October 30th from 5-7 pm
Ponchatoula – Saturday October 30th from 6-8 pm
Roseland – Saturday October 30th from 5:30-8 pm

Saturday, October 30th from 6-8pm

West Baton Rouge Parish
Sunday from 5:30-7:30 pm

West Feliciana Parish
Sunday October 31st from 5:30-7:30pm

Gross Tete

Boo on the Bayou Halloween Night 5-6 pm Visitors info Center

St. Landry Parish
Eunice: 6-8 p.m. Saturday
Opelousas: 5:30-7 p.m. Sunday
Sunset: 5-7 p.m. Sunday
Arnaudville: 6-8 p.m. Saturday
Grand Coteau: 5-7 p.m. Sunday
Port Barre: 5:30-7 p.m. Saturday
Krotz Springs: 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday
Acadia Parish
Church Point : 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday
Rayne: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday
Crowley: 5-7 p.m. Saturday
Evangeline Parish

Ville Platte: 6-8 p.m. Saturday
Mamou: 6-8 p.m. Sunday
Pine Prairie: 5-7 p.m. Saturday
Basile: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday

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