Off-Duty Cop Spots Sex Offender Allegedly Volunteering at Haunted House

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WTMJ

An off-duty officer walking through a haunted house in Wisconsin recognized a familiar face when a volunteer took off his monster mask after scaring some children, NBC affiliate TMJ4 reported.

Andy Hawthorne, 36, was arrested this week for allegedly volunteering and interacting with children while registered as a sex offender, according to TMJ4.

Hawthorne is suspected of working at the haunted house — only open 11 days out of the year — for at least seven days, the criminal complaint said. 

"I think without the officer (Hawthorne) would still be volunteering down there and no one would know the difference," Slinger Police Chief Dean Schmidt told TMJ4.

The off-duty detective from the West Bend Police Department recognized Hawthorne from the sex offender registry. After spotting Hawthorne, the detective contacted the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and Slinger Police to alert them of Hawthorne's child sexual assault convictions. 

Schmidt told TMJ4 there is no evidence that Hawthorne did anything unlawful with children while volunteering; however, being so close to children violated several of his prison release conditions. 

Hawthorne faces three new felony charges. 

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