PALM BAY, Fla. – A sex offender in Florida was arrested last week after luring a 12-year-old boy into his vehicle. During the course of the investigation, authorities discovered a second victim as well, according to the Palm Bay Police Department.
The perpetrator, who was taken into custody Oct. 24, was identified as 33-year-old Daniel Violi. According to Palm Bay Police, he has been a registered sex offender since 2021 and was out on probation since his release in April, reported Click Orlando.
The victim’s mother reported the Oct. 18 crime to police. She said her child was lured into Violi’s automobile in the area of Port Malabar Boulevard and Cranbrook Avenue while walking around with friends in Palm Bay.
Police said that Violi lured the 12-year-old boy into the vehicle by offering $20 to do some work at his home.
“Violi was driving a gray 4-door Mazda at the time. After refusing sexual advances from Violi for money, including exposing himself, our victim was ultimately able to remove himself from this dangerous situation,” the department said in a news release.
During the course of the criminal investigation, police learned of a second victim, a 14-year-old, who Violi tried to lure in June in the area of Riviera Drive and Dawn Street. The teen rejected Violi and fled to safety, police said.
Violi is charged with lewd or lascivious conduct on a child under 16, interference with custody, and a probation violation. He was booked at the Brevard County Jail, according to Click Orlando.
Chief Mariano Augello of the Palm Bay Police Department urged parents to talk to their children about encountering potentially dangerous situations.
“As your Police Chief, I urge all of our parents and guardians to please talk to your kids about the dangers of talking to strangers,” Augello said. “Have a plan in place. If they see something, to say something. As a community, it is all our responsibility to ensure our children are safe from the dangers of this world. A simple conversation with our kids can make all the difference.”