A sex offender living next door to a daycare in West Haven has been arrested after he was accused of exposing himself in front of young children while watching them play.
Police arrested Lawrence Kelly, 46, Thursday after the owner of the Babies and Toddlers Home Daycare on Admiral Street called police around 2:45 p.m. to report a man exposed himself to her and the children in her daycare.
"I was scared. I was so scared," Marilyn Velazquez, the owner of the daycare, said. "I grabbed all the children and I came right inside with the kids."
Velazquez said she brought the children outside to enjoy the warm weather and play outside and that's when she saw Kelly, who was standing outside and staring at the children as they played.
"He got startled, the jacket flew open and that's when he was actually exposed," Velazquez said.
Officers found Kelly behind the daycare, where the backyards join, and charged him with public indecency, risk of injury to a child and breach of peace, police said.
Valzquez said she does not think the children saw Kelly expose himself and she plans to put up security cameras and might put up a fence as well to block the view into her yard.
Kelly lives behind the school, according to police, and Velazquez said she didn't know that he was on the sex offender registry.
"I had no clue," she said. "This is a man who said 'hi' and "good morning' and would keep walking."
Police said said there is no state statute that uniformly stops sex offenders from living near a daycare or a school. Each case is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Sex offenders are, however, required to notify authorities of a new address within three days of moving, but Kelly's address was listed as being in New Haven even though he's lived in West Haven for nearly a year, police said.
Kelly was held on bond. NBC Connecticut went to Kelly's home for comment, but there was no answer. The case is not yet listed in the online docket and it's not clear if he has an attorney.