Most parents wouldn't think twice about giving their kids a dollar and letting them chase the ice cream man. But investigators say a convicted child predator was using a homemade ice cream van to get close to kids.
Kids and parents in the East Nashville community said they're glad they now know the truth.
Jarrika Fite and her grandmother always escort her younger cousins to get popsicles, but they were completely shocked to learn that 35-year-old Larry Frierson was no ice cream man at all.
Police say Frierson is a convicted sex offender with a long history, including several violations of the sex offender registry. He's been found guilty of robberies, aggravated sexual battery and raping a 4-year-old boy.
"We've seen the truck plenty of times. But you know, you just never think that it would be a sex offender on a popsicle truck," Fite said.
Parole officers say Frierson is homeless and wears a GPS tracking device on his ankle.
"He has several community supervision for life violations," said Bill Farwell, probation and parole officer.
Children say the man would park and stay long after they bought their treats.
"This was more or less a work van that's been painted into an ice cream truck. You see the handle on the side door there. What was to stop this man from opening up the side door of that ice cream truck, taking a child and being off and running within a matter of seconds?" said Joseph Coccia, probation and parole officer.
On a routine check-in at the Rescue Mission, they learned Frierson had moved to Cleveland Street but didn't put his new address on the registry.
"He has no regard for the law. He knows he is not supposed to be anywhere near children and he has the audacity to get into an ice cream truck," Coccia said.
Frierson is charged with sex offender registry violation and sex offender costume/employment violation. He is currently in a jail in Davidson County and is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.
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