BROOKSVILLE - Steve Wyatt's pickup is generally unremarkable, but there's a recent attachment that's earned it the nickname "sex offender mobile."
Not that he's the sex offender.
No, the two blown-up photos on either side of his truck are of his brother, Willard Wyatt. Along with the photos is an exact duplication of the brief information provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement about Willard Wyatt's status as a sex offender:
The out-of-state charge is 13-years-old. It was a sex offense with a minor.
Steve Wyatt says his mission is to bring awareness about all sex offenders and predators living in Hernando County. This isn't just about his brother.
But that's how it began.
"The laws aren't stiff enough on these people," he said.
Willard Wyatt doesn't have a listed phone number and couldn't be reached for comment.
Steve Wyatt said he invited his brother to live with him two years ago as a favor. Within days of Willard Wyatt's arrival from Tennessee, he announced he needed to register at the sheriff's office.
"What for?" Wyatt said he asked.
His older brother explained that he was a sex offender in Delaware, but passed the blame onto his wife, whom he called "vindictive." Steve Wyatt bought the story.
"That was a big mistake on my part, a big mistake," Steve Wyatt said in an interview Tuesday.
The brothers had a falling out a month ago over a family issue involving Steve Wyatt's 19-year-old daughter. Steve Wyatt kicked his brother out of the house.
Soon after, he did a simple search on the FDLE Web site for the number of sex offenders living within five miles of his Mondon Hill Road address. The total - 61 - astounded him.
In his opinion, the general public is unaware of the number of sex offenders and predators living around them.
On Tuesday afternoon, there were 274 people with that classification in the county, including the jail population.
Steve Wyatt got a giant poster-sized photo of his brother and mounted it using wooden planks on the back of his truck. He passed out fliers in Willard Wyatt's neighborhood on Taft Street.
The truck has drawn stares, questions and one complaint. The latter came from a woman in the parking lot of Wal-Mart who wanted to know how he "dared" to advertise a sex offender.
Steve Wyatt's brother has taken out a restraining order against him since he began driving around the "sex offender mobile."
He said intends to put a new sex offender's photo on the back of his truck soon. He claims that by not altering the information, he's within his rights.
"I'm not breaking any laws; I'm not stupid," he said. ..more.. by Kyle Martin
Brother: Sex Offender Sign Is Revenge Tactic
BROOKSVILLE - Bill Wyatt isn't running for office, despite at least one person's misconception.
Sure, his face and name are blown up on a sign displayed around town on the back of a pickup truck. But it's his sex offender profile, not a political resume.
The pickup belongs to his brother, Steve Wyatt, who mounted the twin signs on his truck last week. Steve Wyatt says it's his way of making the community aware of sex offenders.
But Wyatt sees it as a revenge tactic after a falling out between the two brothers.
"He's singling me out, it's pure and simple," Wyatt said.
Wyatt is candid about how he came to be labeled by the state of Delaware as a sexual offender.
Thirteen years ago, two teenage girls were living with him and his wife at the time. The girls told authorities Wyatt had sex with them as revenge for his refusal to let their boyfriends come over.
They recanted their story 24 hours later, Wyatt said, but it was too late. He agreed to a plea bargain and served two and a half years of probation.
In 2006, Wyatt came to live with his brother, Steve, and his family in Brooksville.
At the end of last month, the two had a argument involving Steve Wyatt's 19-year-old daughter. Wyatt was kicked out of the house as a result.
Since then, Steve Wyatt has begun passing out fliers in the Taft Street neighborhood where his brother lives. Two giant signs bearing an exact replica of Wyatt's status with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were mounted on the back of his brother's pickup.
That pickup has been all over Brooksville and the surrounding area. Wyatt has a temporary restraining order to keep his brother away.
"It's very embarrassing," he said.
Wyatt has no qualms over notifying the public of sex offenders and encourages the practice. But this type of behavior is extreme, he said.
If Steve Wyatt truly wanted to raise awareness about sex offenders, he would have displayed more serious sexual predators and known child molesters, Wyatt said.
"He should have concentrated on the most threatening," he said. ..more.. by Kyle Martin