GRETNA, La. – After receiving a complaint about a man’s unwanted attention towards children at a Gretna BMX track, police discovered that he had a criminal history involving children and had been taking pictures and videos of juveniles at track locations across the state, according to the Gretna Police Department.
Through surveillance, police learned that Don Fernandez, 65, who went by the name “Uncle Don,” was videoing the children, taking pictures of them and asking where they live and how often they came to the track. Fernandez was going as far as attempting to lure the children to his residence and was witnessed caressing the children’s hair.
Detectives received information that he had been frequenting BMX and motor cross parks across Louisiana.
While conducting a criminal history, police discovered that Fernandez had been arrested by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi in 1997 on four counts of unlawful touching of a child.
Based on the investigation, officers were able to obtain an arrest warrant for one count of stalking that occurred at the BMX track and a search warrant for his residence.
On Wednesday, police executed the search of his home and found numerous pictures that were taken of children at the track with their shirts off. A DVD player containing a video of children at the track was setup in the bathroom at his home.
Fernandez was booked in the Orleans Parish Correctional Center as a fugitive from Gretna for stalking.
The New Orleans District Attorney’s Office is being consulted in reference to the books containing the photographs for additional charges.