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NE- Registered Sex Offender Assaulted

4-23-2009 Nebraska:

Lincoln police say a Level 3 registered sex offender was assaulted after neighbors found out he was living in the area.

Police Chief Tom Casady said this is the first case of an offender being assaulted in Lincoln he can ever remember.

Officer Katie Flood said the incident happened Tuesday just before 9:00 pm in the 3100 block of Dudley.

Flood said Steven Ouillette and Benjamin Huber found out William Messer, a Level 3 registered sex offender, was living in their neighborhood.

Flood said Ouillette and Huber were angry with the situation and according to court documents the two men stood across the street for 1 to 2 hours yelling at him, calling him a child molester.

Court documents state Huber and Ouillette then crossed the street and tried to pick a fight with Messer. Flood said Ouillette even said he was going to kill him and to stay away from his kids.

Flood said Ouillette then picked up a shovel and came at Messer, who picked up a fire poker from his grill to defend himself.

Flood said Messer hit Ouillette on the arm and Ouillette swung the shovel several times at Messer.

Flood said witnesses called police and officers arrived before anyone was seriously hurt.

Ouillette was arrested and was charged Wednesday with assault, disturbing the peace and trespassing. He entered a plea of not guilty and has a trial date set for May 26.

Huber was taken to detox and cited for disturbing the peace and trespassing.

Flood said she hopes the fact that people were taken into custody will help diffuse the situation and deter other people from making similar attacks.

Chief Casady said there have been other incidents were registered sex offenders were harassed, but this is the first time to his knowledge that someone attacked an offender. ..Source.. by Reporter: KOLNKGIN

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