OKEECHOBEE — A 60-year-old man was charged with stalking after allegedly trying to lure young children. In two separate incidents on Monday, Jan. 20, Peter Krosofsky, Southeast 25th Drive, was accused of attempting to lure children into going away with him.
The first incident reportedly took place at approximately 3 p.m. near Southeast 28th Street and Southeast 34th Avenue. A witness claimed to have seen a suspicious person pulled over talking to a group of young children.
The suspicious person was driving a silver/tan vehicle with brown front and rear bumpers. Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Hernandez located the vehicle turning into the Shady Rest Grocery Store on Southeast 26th Street and performed a traffic stop. He identified the driver as Peter John Krosofsky.
After speaking to Krosofsky, Deputy Hernandez located a young boy riding his bike and spoke with him in the presence of his mother, because the boy was only 9 years old. The boy reportedly said Krosofsky came up to him while he was riding his bike and asked him if he wanted to go somewhere with him to play. He said Krosofsky told him they could play video games and offered to take him to the park. The boy’s mother said she had never seen the man before and wanted him trespassed from her property.
When Deputy Hernandez went to Krosofsky’s residence to inform him there was a trespass order, Krosofsky reportedly asked him to quiet down so his neighbors would not hear him.
Deputy Hernandez arrested him and charged him for luring or attempting to lure a child under the age of 12 into a structure, dwelling or conveyance for something other than a lawful purpose.
Less than three hours after the first incident, Deputy Carl Jones was dispatched to Mosquito Creek Grocery on State Road 70 East in response to a call regarding a suspicious incident. When he arrived, he reported found Krosofsky sitting in the roadway at the intersection of Northeast 56th Avenue and State Road 70 East. He made contact with the complainant, who said she was on her way to pick her stepdaughter up when she received a text from her stating a creepy guy was staring at her and was walking toward her. When the complainant arrived at Mosquito Creek Grocery to pick up her stepdaughter, the girl told her the man had taken something out of his car and set it on his trunk. Then he motioned to her to come see it. She said “NO!” Then, she began jogging toward the store. She said he followed her and started walking faster. “I was really scared. I thought he was going to kidnap me,” she said.
Krosofsky was charged with misdemeanor — attempting to lure a child under the age of 12 in the first incident. His bond was set at $20,000 and he was fit with an ankle monitor. In the second incident, he was charged with misdemeanor — stalking and his bond was set at $50,000.