Police arrested a man known as the “Bedford Ranter” and accused the Williamsburg fixture of threatening to rape fifth and sixth graders outside a middle school.
Prosecutors charged Laurence LaDouceur, 62, with harassing and endangering six children last month behind a fence at the MS 577 schoolyard on N. Fifth Street.
Parents of the victims told police that LaDouceur approached a 12-year-old on April 20 near Driggs Avenue and threatened to rape the child.
Four days later, LaDouceur allegedly returned to the schoolyard and reached through the chain-link fence to touch the backs of four pre-teens, cops said.
“Wait for me after school, I want to see you,” the perp told one girl, according to police.
“Lucky you were by the fence, if not, I would have taken you and raped you,” he allegedly told another student before brushing his hand over two other girls’ shoulders and running off, according to the criminal complaint.
Prosecutors claim LaDouceur returned to the schoolyard an hour later and solicited an 11-year-old girl.
“If you have sex with me, I would love you more and make your parents proud,” he said, according to investigators.
Parents called the cops after the incident and children identified LaDouceur as the culprit. Police arrested him at his room in the Glenwood Hotel on Broadway two days later.
Cops said they were familiar with the suspect, who is known for strolling down Bedford Avenue and loudly proclaiming his views on government, police aggressiveness, Mayor Bloomberg, civil society, and his own depression.
“We knew who he was immediately,” said 94th Precinct Deputy Inspector Terence Hurson. “We’ve never had a problem with him.”
A Brooklyn judge set bail for LaDouceur, who appeared in court last Thursday, at $1,000. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
LaDouceur’s attorney Alyssa Mack declined to comment about the case.
The suspect was the subject of a 2009 short film “Study for ‘A Moral Society,’ ” in which he told filmmakers C.K. Swett and Russel Fong that police had him committed to hospitals several times and that he has taken Thorazine, a psychiatric drug that treats schizophrenia.
LaDouceur also recounted his family history to the documentarians, noting that he did not become a “sex object” until he turned 13, that he has fathered several children of his own, and that he is the Jewish messiah.
“All of the painful events of my life were based on the identity of being a sex object, now that that’s over, it’s terrible,” LaDouceur said in the film.
Swett said LaDouceur suffers from mental illness and said his alleged actions are a manifestation of his disease.
“It’s really unfortunate,” he said. “My heart goes out to the young women who are being harassed and to someone who has had a severe disease and has been functional for many years.”Reach reporter Aaron Short at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-2547.r
©2012 Community News Group
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