A convicted sex offender paroled after serving more than two decades in prison has been arrested and charged in a new case of alleged lewd conduct near children, authorities said.
Kent Bradley Swift, 60, was paroled last year after serving 21 years for kidnapping and lewd conduct. Police identified him as the man seen acting suspiciously in his van, which parked and re-parked outside the front patio of a Studio City restaurant on Sunday, April 22, said LAPD Detective Lt. Jim Gavin.
Security camera video obtained by police showed the white GMC van make a u-turn on Coldwater Canyon Avenue before pulling up in front of the Sharkey's restaurant, then driving around back to a side driveway from which could be seen the front patio where three young children were playing.
A restaurant patron saw the van driver touching himself sexually as he watched the children.
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"She sees the children, alerts the father, and you can see in the video the father comes out and grabs the kids and brings them inside," Gavin said.
Moments later on the video, the van can be seen driving off.
Gavin expressed concern that, given Swift's history, had the woman not interceded, Swift might have approached the children.
Swift was identified with the help of the video and witness information, and investigators took him into custody last week. He has been wearing an ankle monitor as a condition of parole, and Gavin said its GPS locator verified he had been at the restaurant. Because he's accused of a parole violation, Swift is being held without possibility of bail.
Swift told investigators "he couldn't help himself," Gavin said.
Police believe it likely that in the year since Swift was paroled, he may have approached other children. Lt. Gavin asks anyone aware of that to contact detectives at LAPD's Van Nuys station.