Sex offender arrested after allegedly attempting to kidnap girl - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Sex offender arrested after allegedly attempting to kidnap girl at Jewish center

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39-year-old Dean Beck 39-year-old Dean Beck
Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Southwest Miami-Dade Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center in Southwest Miami-Dade
Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center Director Ed Rosen Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center Director Ed Rosen

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A registered sex offender was arrested after, police said, he attempted to kidnap a 7-year-old girl at a South Florida community center, prompting administrators to take comprehensive steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Officials said 39-year-old Dean Beck approached the victim while she was going to camp at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center, located at 11155 S.W. 112th Ave., Thursday. Authorities said the subject grabbed the girl's shirt and attempted to drag her into the men's restroom. The young camper was able to scream for help and get away.

According to the center's director, the subject was apprehended and arrested immediately. "He was identified by the girl, identified by a counselor," said Ed Rosen, Executive Director of the JCC. "We do have police officers here working on a regular basis, and we notified the police. They picked him up immediately."

Administrators confirmed Beck was a member of the JCC and part of their special needs program.

Miami-Dade Police identified the 39-year-old as a registered sex offender who had been arrested several years ago for possession or purchase of child pornography. "Based on the investigation so far, he was more than competent enough to commit this crime," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Roy Rutland. "We have a sex offender at a facility where we have children in close proximity. That immediately drew our concern."

Parents said the incident serves as a lesson to always keep one's guard up where their children are concerned. "It's pretty scary. I mean, you always have to be careful, you always have to keep an eye on your children," said Jorge Rivas. "You always have to make sure that wherever you're leaving them, that you as a parent do your due diligence in ensuring that you're leaving them in a safe place."

"We're parents who are working very hard to raise our children, and the last thing we need are people like that on the street," said Miriam Frometa.

Rosen was pleased to report the young victim returned to camp the day after the incident. "We're grateful that nothing serious happened to the young girl, who is back at camp and enjoying camp, and her parents are very supportive," said Rosen.

Beck bonded out of jail posting a $7,500 bond. A 7News crew attempted to speak with him at his Palmetto Bay home but were unsuccessful.

Administrators at the center said they are taking steps to make sure an incident like this never happens again.

However, Rosen said, the JCC will continue their commitment to the special needs community and all their 6,000 members, even if it means revisiting all of their records. "Unfortunately, [we have to] check everybody," he said. "People, even though they've been members for five, six, 10, 15, 20 years, we have to check them to make sure that they have no [criminal] records, and if they do have a record, well, what it is and whether or not it's proper for them to stay a member."

Police continue investigating.

Investigators are asking for the public's help in determining whether there have been any other incidents involving Beck. If you have any information, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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