SOUTHINGTON - Southington police have charged a Massachusetts man with trying to meet up with someone he met on an online dating site, who he thought was a 14-year-old boy.
Carl Bezo, 50, of Westfield, Massachusetts, is facing one count of attempted risk of injury to a minor. At the time of the allegations, he worked as a custodian in a Massachusetts middle school.
According to the arrest warrant, Bezo in September began chatting with someone through an online dating site who was an adult posing as an underage boy. The fictitious juvenile. was part of the POP - Prey on Predators - Squad, a local group that has been responsible for at least six other arrests in the area involving similar allegations.
Bezo, police allege, communicated with the POP Squad member, who goes by “Incognito,” for several days. During the conversations, Incognito said his name was Adam and that he was only 14 years old. He asked Bezo if he’s OK with his age, and Bezo said he didn’t have a problem with it, according to the warrant.
Bezo also told Incognito he is good looking, after the two exchanged photos and Bezo was sent a photo of a young-looking male. He also asked him what kind of guy he likes and asked if he has ever “hooked up” with anyone,” the warrant said.
The two eventually agreed to meet at the WalMart store in Southington on Sept. 28. The encounter was recorded, and shows Bezo acknowledge what he’s doing is wrong, according to the warrant. However, during their interaction, he denies ever intending on doing anything besides talk and get dinner with the fictitious juvenile.
Just before Bezo and Incognito part ways outside the store, Bezo said he’s “not going to be doing that anymore” and thanked him, the warrant said. He also said he may see a psychiatrist.
The video of the encounter and the chat logs between the two were later turned over to police in Massachusetts and Southington.
The day after the WalMart meeting, Bezo showed up for work at a middle school in Westfield, Massachusetts, and was confronted by school officials about the video of the encounter, which was posted online. He was placed on leave and later fired, Bezo’s attorney, Brian Freeman, said Friday at his arraignment in Bristol Superior Court.
Freeman also added that his client has no criminal record and turned himself in on Friday. He was cooperative with police throughout the investigation, Freeman added.
Bezo posted $50,000 bond after his hearing. His case was continued to Feb. 2.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.