GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WOOD) — A Michigan man accused of urinating on a 5-year-old girl and using racial slurs toward her is a convicted sex offender and has a history of mental illness, records show.
The man was arrested Wednesday after police said he urinated on the girl, who is black, then used a racial slur toward her. The incident happened in an alley off the 1000 block of Leonard Street NW, near Tamarack Avenue.
Katrena Rapier told WOOD-TV the girl and three other children — including her two sons — were playing hide-and-seek in a nearby parking lot behind the library when it happened. She said the girl was near tears when she returned to Rapier’s home.
“She’s like, ‘I’m wet,’ and she was holding her head,” Rapier recalled. “She was like, ‘My hair’s wet and my clothes are all wet.'”
Rapier said the girl, who lives a few doors down, had been hiding from the other children near a fence when a man who had been walking nearby appeared on the other side of the chain link.
“He just started urinating on her and he said, ‘Stupid (N-word),” Rapier said.
The suspect is 60-year-old David Allen Dean, according to jail records. Police are not confirming his name until he has been arraigned.
Rapier knows who Dean is and described him as “polite” in her interactions with him.
“I thought he was homeless because he walks up and down the street asking people to do work and he’ll work for food,” she said.
But Dean isn’t homeless. He lives in an apartment nearby. And Rapier had no idea he is a convicted sex offender who spent nearly 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting a minor.
“It’s kind of scary, the whole time, a sex offender,” Rapier told WOOD-TVThursday afternoon.
“He’s been around all the children on the street and everything.”
Neighbors also had no idea that Dean had a history of mental illness, which court records show he often refused to treat with his prescribed medications.
A court record noted that Dean has a “significant history of multiple sexual convictions when not taking medications.”
In early 2017, Dean was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for at least 60 days. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, Kent County probate court records indicate.
At the time, a social worker reported that Dean had not been taking his prescribed medication. Another social worker said he was “easily provoked, delusional and sexually preoccupied due to increasing psychosis,” the court records show.
A psychiatrist wrote about “concern for aggression (and)… preoccupation with a young female.”
In 2010, shortly before Dean was released from prison, a psychologist noted “Records indicated a history of self-injurious behavior (cutting, burning) …. prompted by shame and guilt concerning his pedophilic sexual urges.” Mental health workers also wrote that Dean was “quick to anger.”
They said that upon release from prison, he should be placed in adult foster care home where he could receive support accessing mental health services.
In addition to Dean’s long history of sex-related convictions, including at least one involving a minor, he has also been arrested twice for failing to comply with Sex Offender Registry regulations.
On Thursday afternoon, Grand Rapids police said they would be interviewing the victim and witnesses before sending their report onto the prosecutor’s office for review and possible charges.
Rapier, the neighbor whose sons were playing with the 5-year-old, said she thinks authorities should consider the incident a hate crime because of the suspect’s alleged use of the N-word.
Cle Jackson, who heads up the Greater Grand Rapids Branch of the NAACP, said he had been in contact with Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and GRPD Chief David Rahinsky, asking if they are investigating the incident as a hate crime. He said Rahinsky said the department must let the investigation take its course and Becker said that because the investigation was ongoing, it was too soon to make a decision on charges. Becker told Jackson he will consider all appropriate charges, including a hate crime charge, when the case makes it to his desk.
The parents of the 5-year-old victim told WOOD-TV that while their daughter was afraid to go outside again at first, she was able to attend school on Thursday.