Crystal police have arrested a man accused of trying to engage in sexual conduct with young boys. Police made the arrest after the suspect tried to be facebook friends with a group of Crystal Little League baseball players.
Michael Hamer of Minneapolis is charged with two felonies. In addition to soliciting a child for sex, Hamer is accused of possessing child pornography.
Police started investigating Hamer when a parent told league officials this week that her son was contacted by the man. Crystal police then set up a sting and arrested him. Police believe he met with some of the boys in person.
The parent who first saw the message did not want to be identified by last name, but told 12 News it was a close call.
"I would be interested to know if he had any priors but then I don't want to know because I don't want to know how close we really came to something tragically happening," said the parent.
The woman says her son got a message to meet an unknown man at the movies at the Mall of America. Her son also told her someone had been at the nearby baseball fields watching them play pick up games from his car. On the suspect's Facebook page, the parent says there was a long list of boys names. They included youth hockey players and other kids with no sports affiliation.
"The further we looked into it, the more chills we got, the more serious we took it to the point that kids don't go anywhere until we know what's going on," she says.
Crystal police say the arrest serves as good time to talk with your children about Internet safety. Any parents whose children may have been contacted by Hamer are also urged to contact Crystal Police at 763-531-1020.
Mike Johnson, reporting
July 27, 2012