A shocking case where an elderly man allegedly urinated on a little girl and called her the n-word, took a sudden turn late Friday.
Initially a police official and the prosecutor refused to officially identify the man who was arrested. But a Grand Rapids police captain spoke to local media Thursday, he appeared in jail records and he’s a registered Michigan sex offender, albeit a non-compliant one.
David Allen Dean, 60, was named as the man arrested for urinating on a 5-year-old African-American girl playing in an alley near her home with her siblings in Grand Rapids, Michigan Wednesday evening. He is alleged to have called the little girl a ni**er as he urinated on her.
Late Friday afternoon, after two days without naming him or even agreeing there would be charges, according to jail records, Dean was charged with “indecent exposure by (a) sexually delinquent person.” He could have faced life in prison but records show Dean was released from jail and the charge dismissed.
In a statement issued by Kent County, prosecutors said the allegations made against Dean were false; the kids involved admitted they’d made it up.
“A thorough investigation by the Grand Rapids Police Department, in conjunction with the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, has revealed that recent allegation that an adult male urinated on a child were fabricated. After interviews by a trained specialist, the parents of the children talked to them more, and the children admitted the adult make was not involved. One the of the children urinated on another child, and the story was concocted to avoid trouble. Additionally, citizens in the surrounding provided a verifiable alibi for the recorded time of the incident.
We appreciate the conscientiousness of the parents in bringing the matter to the attention of the police, and in continuing to ask their children question as new evidence was obtained.”
Dean had been held in jail for two days and what exactly was going on was unclear. Charges against him did not appear on the jail’s website. Thursday a Grand Rapids 61st District Court staff person told Heavy that the man being charged, she declined to name him, was going to be arraigned Friday morning. Jail records showed Dean had yet to be arraigned. And the county prosecutor told local media they were weighing charges, still refusing to name Dean, and that their suspect has a history of mental illness.
Criminal and hospital records extensively reported on by Wood TV in Grand Rapids show Dean has a history of psychiatric illness that has led to criminal sexual behavior on occasions when he was not taking prescribed medications. Neighbors told local media they did not know Dean was a registered sex offender. But it went far beyond that; in court records reported on by local media, social workers and a psychiatrist cautioned he was a danger to young girls.
Late Thursday, the Grand Rapids Police Department said it didn’t release Dean’s name as part of its “standard practice that the name of a suspect is not released until formal charges have been submitted and the individual has been arraigned.” Then said charges if any would be “determined by the Kent County Prosecutors Office” Friday. But previously, in a Facebook post, said “suspect is being lodged at the Kent County Jail on a Felony charge.”
Then late Friday, the charge against him was dismissed and he was released from jail.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. After the Incident, the Children Ran Home, Told Their Parents & a Description Was Given to Police Who Tracked Him Down. Authorities Now Say it Never Happened
Grand Rapids Police said officers were dispatched shortly after 6 p.m. to the home of a 5-year-old African American girl whose parents called to report their daughter had been urinated on by white man believed to be around 60 years old. Police said they were called about 20 minutes after the incident.
In an alley behind Leonard Street in Grand Rapids, the Alpine neighborhood, it was reported, Dean allegedly approached two 7-year-olds and the 5-year-old girl. In addition to urinating on the girl, police said, “the male subject called the victim the N-word.”
“The victim and witnesses were able to provide enough description for officers to canvass the neighborhood and identify a suspect. Officers located the suspect’s residence and attempted to make contact with no response. After several more attempts to make contact officers left the residence but were notified a short time later by a neighbor the suspect had returned home. Within minutes officers returned to the residence and were able to take the suspect into custody, without incident,” police reported.
2. The Children Were Playing in a Area Familiar to Them Police Said
According to WWJ radio, the girl and her siblings and other children were playing in an area near their homes Wednesday late afternoon when they were approached in an alley. According to WWJ, the “alley was empty when police arrived, but the children recognized the man from the neighborhood and were able to give a good enough description that police tracked him down at his house. The man was arrested without incident.”
The area where the children were playing hide-and-seek is near the local library.
The station quoted Grand Rapids Police Officer Johsua Cudney who said, “They live right in the area,” referring to the kids. “It was 6 o’clock, the kids were just out playing, it was just a normal thing for them to be out playing (in the alley.)”
In a report on WGVU, Grand Rapids Police Capt. Matthew Ostapowicz said, “The allegation is that he was using racial slurs along with some vulgar language and he urinated on one of the children while he was yelling at them.”
But the incident the kids described did not happen, authorities now say.
3. Physically Uninjured, the Children Were to Undergo Counseling Based on the Nature of the Alleged Incident
Grand Rapids Police reported on Facebook that “there were no injuries to the victim or witnesses.” But an officer told a reporter that “detectives are working on getting them to a professional interviewer at a child advocacy center, where they can also undergo counseling.”
The news station asked for more information on the incident but Cudney said details were “…a little bit unclear right now because they’re minors, and our officers are not able to do a full interview like they would with an adult.” He also told the station that while there were no injuries reported to the child, he does not “know what’s happening in their heads right now (after experiencing that).”
Michigan Live reported, “Police said detectives with the department’s Family Services Team are investigating the incident and working with the Children’s Advocacy Center to provide counseling for the child victim and witnesses.”
On its Facebook page, the Grand Rapids police wrote, “The Detective Unit Family Services Team is investigating the incident. The Family Services Team is working in collaboration with the Children’s Advocacy Center to conduct interviews and provide counseling for all juveniles involved in this incident.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center provides help for children and their families, as they cope with the trauma of being a victim to sexual abuse. The Center also brings together law enforcement, Child Protective Services, medical personnel, and counselors to interview, assess and safeguard children who have been victims of sexual abuse.
In an update following a call from Heavy about the case, Grand Rapids Police said that on Thursday morning, the department’s “Family Services Team conducted a search warrant at the residence of the arrested male suspect. Investigators were searching for evidence related to the incident.”
In its statement issued Friday, Kent County said “The community and members of the media were understandably interested and concerned about the allegations’, said Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker. ‘But this is a prime example of why it’s so important to wait until all the evidence has been gathered and the criminal investigation has been completed before jumping to any conclusions.”
But Dean was charged, and with a serious crime, Kent County online records show. And police took to social media shortly after the alleged incident Wednesday to talk about the case.
4. Police Said There Was Enough Evidence For a Felony Arrest Wednesday Night, With Children Involved, the Process is Different
Police issued the following statement: “While on the night of the incident there was enough probable cause to arrest the suspect for a felony crime, the interview process for minors is much slower and specialized than for adults. In order to protect the children involved, and reduce the amount of stress they may feel during an interview, there is specific and unique protocol that must be followed.”
“We work in collaboration with the Kent County Children’s Advocacy Center, which is able to provide the resources needed to interview the children in a safe way while obtaining the information needed for a criminal investigation,” police said. “A complete investigation is needed for submission to the Kent County Prosecutors Office within 48 hours of any arrest.”
The charge against Dean, as recorded on the Kent County Jail website, is a misdemeanor. But it’s a serious misdemeanor. A 1952 law says this charge, if it’s the same one in the Michigan state statues, is reserved for the “sexually delinquent” and has the state’s only indeterminate, albeit mandatory, sentence: a minimum of 1 day in jail to a maximum of life in prison.
And despite his record and being a convicted sex offender and reported schizophrenic with pedophilic impulses who spent 15 years in prison for sexuallly assaulting a child, he did not commit the crime the children alleged he did.
5. Dean is a Convicted Sex Offender & Reported Schizophrenic With Pedophilic Impulses
Dean was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender in 2017, was charged with the same crime in 2014 by the city of Grand Rapids, in 2016 pleaded no contest to creating a public disturbance, and was charged with indecent exposure in 1994, court records show.
Michigan Live reported Thursday afternoon that “the 60-year-old man been involuntarily committed to psychiatric hospitals in the past, is held in the Kent County Jail while Grand Rapids police investigate.”
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said in a statement that an investigation was under way and his office would review findings for possible charges, adding, “The allegations are disturbing, especially because they involve a child.”
He further qualified his statement by adding, “However, we cannot make a decision until we have the final report. It is premature to say what will happen until the investigation is complete.”
As was reported by Wood TV:
A court record noted that Dean has a “significant history of multiple sexual convictions when not taking medications.”
In early 2017, Dean was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for at least 60 days. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, Kent County probate court records indicate.
At the time, a social worker reported that Dean had not been taking his prescribed medication. Another social worker said he was “easily provoked, delusional and sexually preoccupied due to increasing psychosis,” the court records show.
A psychiatrist wrote about “concern for aggression (and)… preoccupation with a young female.”
In 2010, shortly before Dean was released from prison, a psychologist noted “Records indicated a history of self-injurious behavior (cutting, burning) …. prompted by shame and guilt concerning his pedophilic sexual urges.” Mental health workers also wrote that Dean was “quick to anger.”
They said that upon release from prison, he should be placed in an adult foster care home where he could receive support accessing mental health services.
And despite this set of facts, Dean, for his previous crimes and or impulses, did not urinate on a little girl and call her the n-word.