MIAMI — One of the lead plaintiffs in a suit challenging Miami-Dade County's restrictive ordinance against sex offenders was arrested by police on Thursday for trespassing near a Miami park and violating his probation.
Miami police said they arrested Bryan Exile after warning him to stay out of the area, which has posted signs prohibiting trespassing. The 22-year-old is one of several homeless sex offenders who live under the Julia Tuttle Causeway.
Exile's lawyer, Bruce Alter, criticized police, saying his client frequently visits family members who live in Rainbow Village, a public housing project in the 2100 block of Northwest Third Avenue.
"His wife dropped him off at her relative's home and he had a perfectly legitimate reason to be in this complex, and any suggestion that he was anywhere in the neighborhood of the park to prey upon kids is patently absurd,'' Alter said.
Exile has been on probation since 2007 after being convicted for lewd and lascivious battery on a child.
This summer, Exile was named as one of two plaintiffs in a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union against Miami-Dade.
The ACLU contends that the state's rule that sex offenders must live at least 1,000 feet from where children congregate supersedes the county's stricter 2,500-foot ordinance. It is unclear if Exile's arrest would have any affect on the suit.
``I don't know the answer yet,'' said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida. ``I only hope what has happened in the last couple of days does not mean the ordinance will evade review by the courts.''
According to Miami police, which filed two reports, Exile was spotted at 2128 NW Third Ave. in Rainbow Village on Thursday afternoon.
In their reports, two Miami police officers said they had warned Exile on previous occasions that he would be arrested if he continued loitering in the area.
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