A Franklin County man who has been on the state’s sex-offender registry since 2006 was arrested Tuesday at the N.C. State Fair, where authorities said he posed as a state ride inspector to get into an area reserved for children’s rides.
Wake County sheriff’s deputies charged 64-year-old Tyrone Francie Szabo with being a sex offender on the premises of a place intended for children to use and with impersonating a public officer.
Only ride inspectors from the state Department of Labor work at the fairgrounds after the fair’s opening weekend, Agriculture Department officials said.
In an arrest warrant describing the charges, deputies said Szabo wore khaki-colored clothing like the “BDU” military-style clothing sometimes worn by police and other officials. They said he wore black work boots and carried a flashlight and pepper spray.
Szabo was convicted in July 2006 of six counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, which is possessing images showing children under 18 in sexual situations. The state’s sex-offender registry shows that Szabo had the material two years earlier and was convicted in Granville County and put on three years’ probation. He has no other convictions in North Carolina, state prison records show.
Szabo was held in lieu of $250,000 bail and scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday.
Records list Szabo’s address as 1505 Pocomoke Road, Unit 2, a Franklinton address. The U.S. Postal Service’s website, however, does not acknowledge that as a valid address.