James R. BaxterALTON - Alton Police officers are being given credit for doing an “outstanding job” uncovering a registered child sex offender sleeping under a picnic table at Riverfront Park.

Alton Police detective Emily Hejna, a spokesperson for the department, said there were eight to 10 kids in the park at the time of the arrest of the man, James R. Baxter, 47, previously from Cook County. The arrest was made this past Sunday at the park.

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The Alton Police officers discovered a backpack with papers inside that included a recent Alton Police Department sex offender registration form.

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“He had been registered a few days prior to the incident,” Hejna said. “I alerted the officers of a new sex offender in the area given his history. The officers remembered getting the information and took the extra step and found this guy in the park. This person could have been dangerous to the kids. They got him out of the area and took him to jail.”

The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Baxter with unlawful failure to register as a sex offender, second subsequent offense, and sexual predator presence in a park.

Bond was set in Madison County at $150,000 for Baxter.

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