Man taking pictures of kids arrested by Fairfield police

FAIRFIELD - A call from a concerned citizen suspicious of what a man was doing led to the arrest of a Fairfield suspect for child pornography.

Lily Bayless, 10, caught him taking pictures of her and knew something was wrong. She immediately told an adult.

"He bit his lip when he talked to me," Lily said. "He always smiled at me and I always thought he was really creepy."

Sgt. Troy Oviatt with the Fairfield Police Department said the caller told police a man was taking pictures of children in the area of Dana Drive last Monday around 11:30 a.m.

It was President's day. All the kids in the neighborhood had the day off and they were playing on the street.

"He's sick," mother Sarah Bayles said. "He's sick."

Neighbors said not 20 minutes later, cops arrived.

Responding officers talked to the man, identified as 53-year-old Eric Schroeder, on the 1200 block of Dana Drive and arrested him for annoying children under the age of 18, Oviatt said.

Neighbors took a picture showing Schroeder handcuffed and naked in the police cruiser.

Lily's mother shudders to think about what he was doing after his photo session.

"I already know doing what," Bayles said. "He was naked when police showed up."

Bayles said she's proud of her daughter for trusting her gut.

Detectives continued to investigate. Oviatt said they served a search warrant on Schroeder's apartment where they recovered hundreds of images of child pornography. Police added booking charges of possession of child pornography and duplication of child pornography.

"I saw all of the police and saw them walking out with evidence bags and three of his computer towers," neighbor Sandra Gonsalez recounted.

No one answered the door at Schroeder's home even though you could see a light was turned on inside the apartment.

Neighbors said they always suspected something was off about him.

"He never said 'hi' but was friendly with kids," neighbor Sandra Cisneros explained. "He'd go outside with kids, skating with them."

It's a neighborhood filled with children. Now, they're having a hard time sleeping at night knowing that he's now longer behind bars, but back at home.

"He's sick in the mind and he needs to leave this neighborhood," Lily said.

"Just disgusted," Bayles added. "I don't really want him in our neighborhood"

"That's very dangerous," agreed neighbor Marcelle Grider. "And it's putting all the kids here in jeopardy,"

Schroeder has no previous criminal history.


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