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Registered sex offender accused of leaning into Lee County school bus arrested

Parents express concern over incident and location of bus stop
School bus sex offender
Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 25, 2023

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Some parents in a Fort Myers neighborhood are concerned after Lee County deputies said a registered sex offender had an interaction with a school bus, which led to his arrest.

The concern also has the Lee County School District making changes, as the bus stop is just across the street from the sex offender's house, near Fordham Street and Ephraim Avenue.

"It’s a big concern for several neighbors around here," one parent said.

According to an arrest report obtained by Fox 4, 45-year-old Ezequiel Pagan approached a school bus on August 17 with his son — a toddler. The bus driver told detectives she opened the door and Pagan told her his son had never been on a bus before.

The driver then told Pagan his son would have to "wait his turn and hold back." That's when detectives said Pagan walked up to the opening, leaned in and put his son on the first step. The report says seconds later, he leaned back in to get his child before walking away.

"You have no reason to be there, doing it," the parent said. "I’m kinda interested in why you would think that was appropriate and you don’t have a child on the bus."

Another parent, who did have a child on the bus, reported it to deputies on August 24. Deputies arrested Pagan that same day for trespassing on school grounds, which includes a school bus, and for violating Lee County's Child Safety Zone ordinance.

The ordinance is intended to "reduce the potential risk of harm to children of the community by limiting the opportunity for sexual predators and sexual offenders to be in contact with unsuspecting children in locations that are primarily designed for use by children, are primarily used by children, or are customary gathering places for children."

Though Pagan lives across the street from a bus stop, which is allowed, the ordinance says a registered sex offender is not allowed to go within 300 feet of places with kids, like day cares, parks or a school bus.

"I think the district should actually consult the neighbors," the parent said.

The district told Fox 4 although Pagan did not get on the bus, they are moving the bus stop out an abundance of caution.

However, the parent said this issue should be looked at district-wide.

"Will they look at that in the future? Will they look at it now for all the other kids that are out there?" the parent said. "Just keep our kids safe."

Pagan also faces charges of failing to report changes of employment and failing to re-register every six months. He will be in court in late September.

Sex offender registry records show Pagan was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person aged 14 or older in Massachusetts.