Ex-con makes local cops nervous
EAGLE ” Police are warning local residents to keep a look out for a registered sex offender who was recently bailed out of the Eagle County jail.
Police arrested Loy Dean Vondette, 43, Thursday and charged him with harassment after he allegedly drove up to an Eagle woman and asked her to have sex, said Eagle Chief Rick Sliger.
The woman, who is married to an Eagle police officer, told police, and Vondette, who apparently lives in Rifle, was arrested. He was charged on suspicion of harassment, having marijuana and violating a restraining order, according to police reports.
Police learned that Vondette served six years in prison after being convicted of enticing and attempting to sexually assault a child. Since his release from prison, Vondette has been arrested and charged with kidnapping a child in Garfield County.
At the time of his Eagle County arrest, Vondette was out on a $25,000 bond for the Garfield County charges and is awaiting trial, according to police.
Vondette was arrested last year in Utah after he allegedly drove up to two young girls and invited them to play, according to the Brigham Young University NewsNet. He was charged with illegally possessing a weapon. According to the newspaper, police said Vondette had several large knives in his car.
Police in Rifle are investigating him as well, but a lieutenant with the department declined to comment on the case, noting Vondette hasn’t yet been charged.
Attempts to reach the Garfield County district attorney for comment on the case were unsuccessful.
Vondette’s Eagle County bond was originally set at $500, then raised to $750, according to jail records. He bonded out of jail Friday morning. Jail officials did not know who set Vondette’s bond.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said that any suspect is allowed to bond out of jail unless he or she has committed murder. Judges should take a suspect’s criminal history into account when setting bond, he said.
“If he is a danger to the community, we will want the bond to be higher,” Hurlbert said.
Privately, several members of local police expressed concerns about the man being in Eagle County but noted he is not suspected of sexually assaulting anyone here.
Residents and parents, in particular, should pay attention to who is driving through their neighborhood, said Tanny McGinnis, spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. Vondette was driving a red Subaru wagon when he was arrested for the harassment charges, police said.
If anyone sees someone acting suspicious in their neighborhood, they should call 911, McGinnis said.
“We will respond to every questionable call and we are happy to,” she said. “Nobody is going to complain or become tired of responding to those calls.”
To check for sex offenders in your area:
Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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