By: Sharon Aron Baron
A brave 12-year-old girl, with the help of a company GPS system, helped nab a registered sex offender who preyed upon her while she was walking home from school.
On May 2, a 7th grader at Forest Glen Middle school was walking home from school in the Turtle Run community when she saw a man in a work van parked in front of the 4200 block of NW 64th Ave.
As she walked past, James Allen Harmison, 32, of Delray Beach started the van, owned by Sunshine Sprinkler Systems Pompano Beach, and made a slow u-turn following her. As she approached her home, he asked her for directions to another address. She said she did not know where the address was. He then drove his vehicle at a slow speed down the street while she entered her home.
Harmison then drove through the neighborhood and returned to the victim’s home where he parked his work van in front of the residence. He exited his vehicle and approached the front door and knocked. According the victim’s statement, she did a “low crawl” to the front door where she peered out of the front door viewer. Harmison said to her “I know you are in there, open the door.”
She was in fear for her safety and waited for Harmison to leave, then went to a neighbor’s home where the Coral Springs Police Department was notified.
An investigation revealed that the driver, Harmison, is employed by the sprinkler company and was on a scheduled service call five houses down from the victim’s home. Sunshine Sprinkler Systems had GPS installed in the work vehicle, where data revealed the work van driven by Harmison was in front of the victim’s home at 4:14 pm. Data also revealed that Harmison left the service call at 4:08 p.m., first approached the victim in front of her home at 4:09 p.m., continued on the street at 4:10 p.m., then repeated his attempt to contact the victim by stopping at her home, knocking on the door and telling her to open it between 4:10 p.m. and 4:14 p.m. He then left the neighborhood at 4:15 p.m.
On May 9, Harmison voluntarily came to the Coral Springs Police Department to provide a statement. According to police, at first he denied he approached the victim stating that she approached him while he was in his van. He also initially said he did not approach the victim’s home and knock on the front door. When confronted with potential evidence, he admitted that he did go to the 12-year-old’s front door where he knocked on the door. He stated he wanted to ask the victim for directions because his company provided him with the wrong address to his next service call.
Contact was made with the owner of Sunshine Sprinkler Systems who reported that the service call at the 4200 Block of NW 64th Ave was Harmison’s last service call of the day.
Harmison was taken into custody on Tuesday at Sunshine Sprinkler Systems where he was charged with aggressive stalking of a minor under 16-years-old. He was released on $50,000 bond and ordered to wear an electronic monitor.