BY ART BUKOWSKI
TRAVERSE CITY — A man who police believe sexually assaulted a young boy has a history of such behavior.
Police this afternoon arrested an Alden man, 26, who they believe was responsible for an assault at an apartment complex near the Grand Traverse County Civic Center on Oct. 25. Officers arrested him in Alden after a search of his residence turned up clothing he's believed to have worn during the incident.
"It is satisfying to get this individual off the streets," City Police Capt. Brian Heffner said. "Tonight, especially, with all of the kids on the street, it's good to have this individual (somewhere) where he can't harm another child."
A boy, 8, was playing with friends at the Civic Center, then left and went to an apartment complex across the road in the 200 block of Fair Street. A man followed the boy to the complex, police said, waited for the child to enter the door code of the building, then trailed the youth into a lobby area and assaulted him.
Police said the suspect exposed himself and "inappropriately touched" the victim.
A retired Michigan State Police trooper contacted investigators after reports of the incident. The trooper had investigated a similar incident a few years ago and provided city police with a name. That person spent time in prison, but had since been released.
"We started doing some checking, and lo and behold, this individual still lived in our area," Heffner said.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the man's Alden residence. They arrested him there without incident.
The suspect has a previous criminal sexual conduct conviction tied to a similar assault on a child, Heffner said.