Unregistered sex offender caught giving candy to kids during Ramona's Halloween event

RAMONA, Calif. - An unregistered sex offender from Oregon was in custody Friday after he was caught trying to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters in Ramona, authorities said.

Danny Shaw, 29, of Yucca Valley, was arrested on Main Street and booked into county jail Thursday evening on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender in California and for being a convicted sex offender in violation of annoying a minor, according to San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Brent Strahm.

At the time, the Ramona Chamber of Commerce was hosting its annual Main Street Trick or Treat event, during which up to a 1,000 costumed children walk along Main Street collecting candy from merchants.

Mario Villavicencio, a co-owner of Signco Signs and father of three young children, said he likes how the whole community can be on watch at the annual festival.

"Every year we do thing here for like three hours on Main Street," he explained. "People don't like to wander out in the darkness and get candy from the homes. It's safer for the kids to do it here on Main Street."

Shaw was in the crowd wearing white face paint with red stripes resembling blood.

"Shaw had reportedly approached parents who were walking with their kids, and persistently insisted on giving the children candy, which was declined," Strahm said. "As one group of parents turned to walk away, a nearby witness watched as Shaw slid candy into a candy bag carried by one of the children."

An off-duty sergeant knew something was not right and alerted a deputy, who cuffed Shaw in costume, 10News learned.

10News learned Shaw has a history that dates back at least 10 years, and he went to an Oregon prison in 2009.

"I think anybody that has anything to do with a crime with children should never get out of prison," Villavicencio said.

Dr. Robert Argyelan, who is the Chamber's executive director, said he did not even know about it until the next morning. He told 10News they have volunteer security but was grateful help came from a community member before anything bad happened.

"The one thing you want to take care of is kids," Villavicencio said. "That's great that the local law enforcement was all over it."

The sergeant went on to say that Shaw, by his own admission, moved to California in February and has failed to register as required by law.

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