A Virginia father was mistaken for a sex offender while visiting his 8-year-old daughter on her birthday at River Oaks Elementary School.
Justin Williams stopped by his daughter Aniya’s elementary school in Prince William County, Virginia, to surprise her on her eighth birthday, Fox 5 reported.
“I started passing out cupcakes, doing all the meet and greets and then I see three officers come in," Williams told Fox 5. “I didn’t know what was going on. They approached me [and said], ‘Are you the sexual offender?’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, what are you talking about?’”
Williams had previously given his ID to a security guard at the school, and his details matched those of someone else.
“Then they said ‘You’re the sexual offender from Washington State’,” Williams added. “I’ve never been to Washington State. I said ‘Can we step outside? There’s a lot of kids right here.'”
Aniya’s father said police detained him for over an hour.
“I gave them my ID, name came back clear,” Williams added. “They were looking for Justin L Williams. My name is Justin Benjamin Williams. He’s 6’1,” 250 [pounds]. I’m 5’6,” maybe 190 [pounds].”
Williams explained that his plan to have a surprise party for Aniya was ruined.
“My kids are in the school crying,” Williams said. “All the other kids [are wondering] ‘What happened? What did your daddy do? Is he a murderer? What did he do?’ Embarrassing my kids, humiliating me.”
A spokesperson for Prince William County Public Schools expressed regret about the incident.
“It appears that a computer system in place to protect our students inaccurately flagged a parent as possible offender," the spokesperson said. "Police were called and reportedly asked the parent to talk with them. The error was quickly found, but unfortunately not before the incident upset the student."
Williams’ father and Aniya’s grandfather, Justin Jr., felt more needed to be done.
“I would like to see some type of justice,” Justin Jr said. “If he got humiliated in public at the school, maybe there should be an apology in public just to clear it with her classmates and the staff and administration.”
There are 319 registered sex offender in Prince William County, according to Homefacts.