By Jesse Wood
A registered sex offender was arrested on Thursday afternoon after he was caught trespassing in a wooded area of Hardin Park Elementary School property, according to the Boone Police Department and Hardin Park Principal Mary Smalling.
Randy Dean Cribb, 59, of 275 East King Street was arrested by the Boone Police Department at about 4 p.m. and charged with a felony for violating the sex offender registry law by being within 300 feet of a school.
The authorities were called after Smalling and another school employee noticed a makeshift campsite between the school, New Market Shopping Center and the car dealership.
A trail from the edge of the Hardin Park Elementary School field area led to an area with a makeshift tent and some chairs. Multiple people were found in the area when officers with the Boone Police Department investigated the scene and they found that Cribb was a registered sex offender.
Cribb was taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where a $15,000 secured bond was set pending a Nov. 23 appearance in Watauga County District Court.
This morning, Smalling alerted the Hardin Park Elementary School community through a mass email announcing what transpired yesterday afternoon.
“Our close relationship with the Boone Police Department who help with frequent school walk throughs, parent volunteers, and teachers on duty help us notice when something seems amiss,” Smalling wrote. “Please remember, if you ever feel that something is not right or makes you feel uncomfortable, always know that it is right to report it to us. We would rather be over cautious than miss something.”