Registered sex offender found operating ice cream truck in Denver

Jun 19, 2024, 2:47 PM

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a...

Community members in Denver's Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a registered sex offender was operating the neighborhood ice cream truck. (KCNC via CNN Newsource)

(KCNC via CNN Newsource)

DENVER, Colorado (KCNC) — Community members in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood have a lot of questions after discovering a registered sex offender was operating the neighborhood ice cream truck.

It started with a handwritten note: $22 owed for ice cream and the Venmo account for that ice cream truck driver that would lead to an unsettling discovery.

“She came home and she said he was super friendly,” Julie Senger said, of her daughter.

Senger lives in the Central Park neighborhood.

Her almost 13-year-old daughter and some friends were walking home from the F-15 pool when they stopped the “Ice Cream Wagon” to buy a treat.

“He gave them their ice cream, they tried to give him money and he says he only takes Venmo and, that time, he said ‘I didn’t realize you were running for so long, do you guys want to get in my truck and I will give you a ride back to the pool?'” Senger relayed.

The offer immediately made Senger uncomfortable and when she saw a community Facebook post detailing a similar incident with information about the driver, Keith Frazier — who they found on the state sex offender website — she panicked.

“My stomach just went in knots,” she said. “Just very disturbing.”

In 1997, that driver pled guilty to indecent exposure involving a child; a misdemeanor sex offense. Court documents show that, while working as a babysitter for two 9-year-old girls in Greeley, he was stealing their underwear, masturbating in front of them and keeping journals about his time with them.

In 2002, he was convicted of felony burglary, according to an article from the Greeley Tribune from the time. The jury found him guilty of breaking into two teenage girls’ homes and stealing underwear and photos of them.

He also has cases for assault, violating a protection order and several traffic offenses.

Senger asked, “how did this guy even get a job with this type of company?”

We took that question to Denver police, which, in a statement, said, “Denver Police officers responded to multiple calls of a suspicious occurrence involving a registered sex offender. DPD has contacted individuals involved. It appears the individual is in compliance of sex offender rules. The investigation is ongoing. There are no further updates at this time.”

While Colorado doesn’t have any laws that say where a sex offender can and cannot work, the City of Denver does have a licensing requirement, both for the owner of the truck and for each individual ice cream vendor, which does include an FBI background check.

“One of the main reasons there is a license requirement for an ice cream vendor is not just the food safety aspect that we want to protect the public (from), but also, we understand there are a lot of kids who are excited to see that ice cream truck on a hot day,” Eric Escudero, a spokesperson for Denver Excise and Licensing, said.

Escudero says they have no active license for the company known as the “Ice Cream Wagon” or for Frazier as a vendor.

While law enforcement will check ice cream trucks for licensing when they see them, the city relies heavily on the public for enforcement, Escudero says.

“If your kids come up to an ice cream vendor and that person is selling it,” he said, “here’s what people need to look for; they need to make sure they see a badge that’s on the front because it is Denver law. If you are a Denver ice cream vendor, you have to have that badge visibly displayed.”

Senger says for her daughter, there likely won’t be a next time.

“I think this has scared her enough,” Senger said. “I don’t think she ever really wants to go to an ice cream truck after this. I think it’s sort of ruined it for her.”

CBS News Colorado reached out to Frazier by phone and email and did not hear back. Your investigator Karen Morfitt also stopped by the company’s location in Commerce City, but no one was there. She did reach someone by phone and attempted to ask about their hiring process and those licensing requirements they aren’t complying with. She was told “there is an investigation that is happening, and we have no comment.”

Frazier’s photo has since been removed from the CBI website; it was put online error. Only offenders with felony sex convictions are to be shared on that registry website and his only sex offense was a misdemeanor.

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Registered sex offender found operating ice cream truck in Denver