Rights of residents vs. rights of sex offender an issue in one neighborhood

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- The concerns of a Westminster community raising questions about the rights of residents in a neighborhood and those of a registered sex offender.

On Sunday, police arrested--then released pending further investigation--a 58-year-old man for a suspicious incident in the Bradburn Village neighborhood off Sheridan and 120th Ave.

Two moms and their kids were sitting on a porch near a park across from their home at 117th Place and Oceola.

One of the mothers says she saw a man hide behind a utility box. Then, the other mom says she heard him whisper, ‘Little girl. Come here. Little girl. Come see me.’” She later called police on the man.

It’s odd behavior for sure. But, police are investigating whether it was illegal.

In this newer, well-kept community, neighbors wage a quiet but intense fight against the man.

They use flyers and email to warn each other about Steven Lee Burmood—a registered sex offender.

“I always try to let them know those people exist. It doesn’t matter the neighborhood you live in, it can happen,” says Chris Murphy, who lives in the neighborhood.

He wanted his kids to see the 58-year-old’s picture posted throughout Bradburn.

Besides allegedly trying to lure the two girls, another mother says Burmood tried talking to her son a week earlier, but didn’t report it to police.

“We understand some of their concern,” says Westminster Police spokesperson Trevor Materasso.

Westminster Police ask the community to be patient while they conduct their investigation—but also caution about information they share.

“Some of the flyers put out do not have accurate information. You want to make sure the information is validated by police as good, accurate information,” he says.

He says one piece of misinformation is Burmood had lollipops and a rope in his truck.

Materasso says the two lollipops have nothing to do with the alleged luring Sunday—and having candy is not illegal.

Plus, a flyer tells people to call police if they see Burmood or his truck in the neighborhood. But Materasso says it is not illegal for him to be in the neighborhood.

Police also don’t want the public to get overzealous without knowing all the facts.

“Mr. Burmood still has Constitutional rights. We caution them not to take matters into their own hands that could threaten or harass him. It could potentially land you in trouble,” says Materasso.

One fact is Burmood is allowed to have contact with children.

Regardless, police have increased security at the neighborhood school, The Academy at 117th and Lowell.

Burmood’s distraught mother tells us her son’s convictions for two sex offenses were 30 years ago in California.

Police say they did not involve children.

His mom also says her son is mentally ill, hallucinates and talks to himself.

His neighbors had nothing bad to say.

“He’s always been friendly. He doesn’t cause any problems,” says the neighbor of six years, who didn’t want to give her name.

But two miles away, neighbors say they do have a problem with him---and the fear he brings to their streets.

“People want him to know, ‘Our eyes are on you and we want you to stay away from our kids.’ Hopefully, people will not cross the lines by letting that be known to him,” says a mom of three who didn’t want to be identified.

Burmood did get a disorderly conduct ticket Monday night after police say he had a confrontation with someone in a vehicle and chased after them.

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