A convicted sex offender with a possible history of mental problems was arrested Wednesday in Decatur on a probation violation.
According to Deputy Police Chief Keith Lee, McKenzie was riding his bicycle on the 2300 block of North Decatur Road when a Decatur police officer recognized him and took him into custody around 1 pm.
Fulton County probation officers made the arrest after the Decatur police department detained McKenzie. Lee confirmed that McKenzie was arrested on a probation violation, but the exact nature of the violation has not been confirmed.
Fulton County's probation office is a state-recognized probation agency, and its officers have jurisdiction throughout the state.
Decatur police are still trying to identify and contact the parent of the child allegedly touched by McKenzie this week.
"[Our] department received a call in reference to McKenzie at Glenlake Pool on Tuesday," said Decatur Police Sgt. Jennifer Ross. "At that time, the pool staff informed us of an incident that occurred on Monday, July 19, [when] a male informed staff that McKenzie had 'touched' his son and he confronted McKenzie. The parent did not notify police and McKenzie left the area immediately. Pool staff did not witness the encounter, nor were they able to identify the parent.
"We are trying to identify the parent and get a more specific account of the incident and encourage the parent to contact us to supply details," Ross said.
"We would love for the parent involved in the Monday incident to contact us," Lee added.
McKenzie is listed on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Sex Offender registry for a July 16, 2004 conviction in Norfolk, Va., for taking indecent liberties with a child. His most recent address is listed on the report as 3575 Oakvale Road, Decatur.
In March 2010, Atlanta police arrested McKenzie for carrying a knife with a blade over three inches long and in violation of city ordinance, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. His arrest followed complaints by cyclists that a man, described as homeless, had been following women as they jogged or cycled in the city.
During the 2010 arrest, an Atlanta police officer "disposed of 'contaminated' rags and pornographic pictures that McKenzie had in his pockets," according to a police incident report that was quoted by the AJC.
Area police agencies have been keeping an eye on McKenzie, Lee said, but were unable to determine details of his Virginia conviction. Norfolk police have been unable to locate a file connected to his conviction for "taking indecent liberties with a child," Lee said.
Earlier this year, the city of Avondale Estates police had written to its residents warning that McKenzie "has displayed behavior that may indicate a degree of being mentally impaired. Records indicate that the person has been charged with sexual crimes and being armed in the past."
Decatur Metro, a Decatur news blog, reported hearing many anecdotal reports about McKenzie harassing local cyclists, as well as reports from neighborhood blogs about his actions this week. Earlier, had reported that area cyclists and joggers were alarmed by McKenzie, who had been observed approaching lone females, "ranting and raving."
“A lot of what we’ve heard about him has been anecdotal," said Lee. "The majority of complaints about him have been about intimidating behavior - yelling and screaming incoherently. We don’t have any reports of him actually assaulting anyone in the city."
Lee said that police do not arrest someone merely because they appear to be mentally unstable.
"The only time we’re allowed to take someone into custody because of mental illness is when they have exhibited very specific behavior that they are going to be a danger to themselves or others," he said.
Glenlake Pool director Jabari Cole has been very "conscientious" about citizen complaints about McKenzie, Lee said. Monday's incident in which McKenzie allegedly touched a child "may not have been of a sexual nature," Lee said.
"It is really not legal to touch anybody without their permission," said Lee. Decatur police want to find out more about Monday's incident "even if it does not arise to new criminal charges. It's beneficial to give us the full set of facts." Decatur police may be contacted at (404) 377-7911.
Lee also reported that McKenzie’s Virginia conviction occurred before a change in the Georgia law concerning the sexual offender registry. "Offenders convicted today are prohibited from living or congregating where children normally congregate. However, those convicted before the law change are only restricted by specific court orders or probation conditions," Lee said.