Man Arrested For Child Molestation Attempt

But attacker's motives are unclear in incident at Bayfair Theater that was thwarted by an aunt who was with her niece and nephew.


An Oakland man who tried to grab a child at the Century 16 Theater at Bayfair Mall on Tuesday night was thwarted by a vigilant aunt and soon arrested in the parking lot, San Leandro police said Thursday.

Police department spokesman Lt. Jeff Tudor said the suspect, 55-year-old Maurice Hastings, had an extensive criminal record including robberies, but no history as a sexual offender.

"He was not very cooperative and we don't know whether he wanted to grope the child or if it was a kidnap attempt," Tudor said.

Tudor said Hastings was carrying a methamphetamine pipe when he was arrested.

Police said the incident began at 11:45 PM Tuesday when the aunt, who is 21, took two relatives, ages 8 and 5, into a photo booth in the theater lobby to take a momento.

According to police, as they were taking photos, the curtain opened and Hastings reached into the booth as if to grab one of the children. But when Hastings saw the aunt he began to walk away toward the exit.

When the startled family members emerged from the booth, police say Hastings made a threatening move toward the aunt. A police officer called to the scene found Hastings wandering in the theater parking lot but the suspect ignored commands to stop.

Several officers arrived to helped detain Hastings. He was arrested for annoying and molesting a child, resisting and delaying a police officer and possession of a device to smoke a controlled substance.

"The quick actions of the aunt, mall security and theater staff allowed for officers to get to the scene quickly," Tudor said. "We're pleased that we were able to make an arrest and that nobody was injured."

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Paul Vargas June 02, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Oh really Marga? Did you hear anything about that which you disagree? Were you here in the 1970s? NO you weren't. All you're doing is assuming what you said happened. If someone accuses someone of "racism" you're quick to agree as though you can read the "intent" of the police officers mind. However, if someone reaches towards a child whom he has no familiarity with you claim that the District Attorney and Police cannot assume "intent". Circular logic on your part.
Charles Kane June 02, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Dear Marga: please read (Accurately and all) Mayor Maltestor's testimony before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on May 6, 1967. While TV Documentaries are interesting, a lot of facts are often omitted. One can always find a people who have been the victims of discrimination and are willing to complain about it, but empirical data shows San Leandro in a favorable light. I hear your negative thoughts. Cheer up, things are getting better. Human Rights are important to everyone, not just to an anointed few. Our cup is still only half full .
Charles Kane June 02, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Dear Marga; In answer to your personal questions to me. Yes I do recall instants of conflict. Complaints we knew of were investigated. Yes some complaints were justified, others were not. Cops are your neighbors mostly good folks but there are always exceptions..1965 through 1971 were volatile. during that time the the entire U.S. and the Bay area had open conflicts related to Civil Rights and to add, the Anti Vietnam protests. There were riots in San Fransisco, Berkeley and Oakland. The Black Panther Party, Weather underground, Snick, Core, Campus Core,. Ad-Hoc. All were in the show. Still the Bay area governments plodded on. Our City has done pretty well. While I acknowledge Racism in San Leandro I do not believe it was or is institutional but unfortunatly it exists to this day as an individual or small group condition on all sides of the human spectrum.
anthony June 02, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Interesting reading, but not sure it makes your case. Is there more testimony besides shown here ? http://www.sanleandrobytes.com/archives/005435.html
Marga Lacabe June 02, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Charles, you don't believe that racism in San Leandro was institutional? Really? After WWII there was an influx of African-Americans coming into the Bay Area. The white community in San Leandro was worried about this, and a plan developed to set out restrictive covenants throughout most of the city that would either ban, or later greatly obstruct, the sale of homes to African Americans. This was done with the support of the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce. But it wasn't institutional? Look, Charles, you were part of what was a very racist system and I am not in the least surprised that you won't acknowledge it. The question I have, however, is whether you are lying to yourself or lying to us. I don't think it's a question that you can answer. For the rest, I'd recommend the book "American Babylon: Race and the Struggle for Postwar Oakland " by Brown University historian Robert Self. It helps explain the history of much of Alameda county.
David June 02, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Marga, are you aware that neighborhoods in Oakland also had restrictive covenants, like Sheffield Village and Maxwell Park? You and others who decry SL "racism" as something special would gain more credibility if you stopped singling out SL as extraordinary. You are also aware that this somehow inherently entirely "racist" city is the *ONLY* city in the East Bay from El Cerrito through to San Jose that gained black population in the past decade. Clearly the residents and "power structure" of this city is so inimical to blacks that...they keep moving here, raising families here etc. Boy, the concerted efforts to keep black people out are notable in their abject incompetence. Or maybe they don't exist anymore, and haven't for nearly 40 years.
Paul Vargas June 02, 2012 at 09:59 PM
So here we have Marga, from Argentina, coming into the USA, coming into San Leandro and lecturing everyone as to "intent" and what's in their minds. The word is "hypocrite" and you Marga are the embodiment of it. You weren't here in the 1950's, 1960's 1970s. So you have no idea what went on, what happened, why things happened. You have nothing to base your argument on except a political agenda.
Paul Vargas June 02, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Why doesn't Marga talk about racism in; Piedmont, Montclair, Berkeley Hills? Restrictive covenants in Rockridge? Upper Broadway? She's a fool with an agenda.
Charles Kane June 02, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Anthony: No additional Testimony in 1967. The Anti War movement and the Draft Board Riots grabbed the front row for a couple of years S.L.P.D. contributing resources to maintain order. Meanwhile action within the City Government included Special Training (Minority Concept Awareness) for all City staff at all levels, Consultants were hired., We examined our recruitment and retention programs and brought Civil Service Exams up to date, residency requirements were relaxed. We went into the Minority communities and schools for recruits, Hiring efforts included bringing women into the Police as Officer instead of the traditional clerk role.The City helped contribute toward higher education for employees and about 1968 Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Bill (L.E.A.A.) this was Federal Cash for higher education for police. 1972 S.L.P.D. had nearly 70% if its Staff enrolled in Colleges and Universities or as Graduates. Post career many of our Alumni are still active. Some as successful Local Business owners Several attorneys, School Teachers, one Superior Court Judge one Federal District Judge. One retired as head of Behavioral Science Dept at the FBI Academy and several have served or are serving as Police Chiefs.The population of San Leandro has become Diverse as has the City Staff. We have no quotas and with small staffs the percentages sometimes change dramatically when there is employee turnover. But I feel the City is a Good Work In progress.
Charles Kane June 02, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Marga:I will ignore your personal accusations this time. I like to discuss issues without personal insult. You do not know me and I do not know you so let's be civil.
Barry Kane June 02, 2012 at 10:49 PM
And...oh yes,..this is such a hot spot for white people....a whopping 27% of the total population in San Leandro is white and the % of white population is still decreasing. Black population has increased as a % of total in last 2 census counts as has Hispanic and Asian % of population. If we did a count his year, the White population is probably now #3 out of the 4, with Asian #1 and Hispanic #2 out of the 4 major groups.
Paul Vargas June 02, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Oh your real name is Charles Kane? I thought it was a play off the Orson Welles movie. lol
Paul Vargas June 02, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Barry, one thing that Marga and the rest of the revisionist fail to mention is that 1970 was the last Census in which Mexicans were classified as "white". Unless the Mexican was of Indian stock, the census counted them as "white". There were many Mexicans in San Leandro from...forever, it's just that this fact is not of use to the race baiters like Marga.
Marga Lacabe June 03, 2012 at 04:05 AM
David, of course San Leandro is not the only city in the Bay Area that had restrictive covenants. But the reason why it's remarkable is because it's probably the city that fought integration the longest and most successfully. San Leandro has always been a working class city, with a median income somewhat below the county's average. Yet until the 90's, it had the county's lowest African American population. In 1970, 15% of the county's citizens were black - but only 0.1% of San Leandro's. By comparison, Alameda's black population was /26 times/ larger! Even much wealthier cities such as Pleasanton and Lamorinda, had much a much greater proportion of black households. The city did not diversify because of the progressive bent of the city fathers or a change of heart in the community, but because ultimately the almighty dollar speaks loudest. It became good business to tear off houses and put up apartment buildings and rent them out to minorities.
Marga Lacabe June 03, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Charles, what personal insult? I said that you were a part of a very racist system - and you were. You enforced the law in a city that used restrictive covenants and later other tricks to keep blacks out. It's not my opinion, it's what the historical record shows. Now, I don't know if you truly do not see that the system itself was racist, or if you are just trying to change people's perceptions of history - knowing that most people won't go and research the facts. BTW, is Barry your son?
Charles Kane June 03, 2012 at 04:37 AM
As far as I am concerned I have had enough of this nonsense GOOD NIGHT!
Bill Gannon June 03, 2012 at 07:23 PM
I know no logical argument would ever make someone like Marga change her mind. But I find it completely laughable that people are still playing the race card. It is called making excuses to divert responsibility. The majority of police in the US are white, regardless of the efforts made to recruit minority groups to enter the field. Sorry, it is a fact. There are many police of varying ethinic backgrounds who have done quite well in their fields. Why? Because they took it upon themselves to be the most qualified for the job. If certain groups do not choose to place value on education or stress its importance on their children, they are not going to have access to the opportunities. But then they will blame the problem on institutions. We have the right to pursue opportunity, just as we do happiness. Finding either is not guaranteed, even if people do work hard at it. Though who do work hard and educate themselves are much more likely to achieve either or both. The fallacy of setting quotas, such as with affirmative action, should be apparent. I don't want people who are not as well qualified working in either the private or public sector just so our numbers reflect the make up of the community. Regardless of the job, I want the person who is most qualified (whether that person is black, brown, white, purple or mauve). For goodness sake, we have a man who identifies himself as black as the President. Time to play the joker instead of the race card.
Paul Vargas June 03, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Marga compares the black population of Alameda in 1970 to San Leandro? Oh yeah, she forgot to mention that the Alameda Naval Air Station was operating at the time. Another hallow argument.
Paul Vargas June 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Well said Bill Gannon. You made sensibile, intelligent and well thought out points. Marga on the other hand is an ACLU mouthpiece. She calls others racist, yet the ACLU is the coddler of the most depraved elements of society. Pot meet Kettle.
Marga Lacabe June 03, 2012 at 08:38 PM
That's such complete racist crap, Bill. If you are trying to cement the image of the SLPD and its officers as a retrograde force, you are doing a great job. Major city police departments nowadays have about 18% African American officers, up from about 6% in 1970. What's San Leandro's current rate? 2, 3%? And the idea that this has anything to do with education is laughable. All the education required to be a police officer is a HS diploma. Indeed, San Leandro just settled a very expensive lawsuit based on the fact that its promotion system did not rely on objective criteria, and thus was used to discriminate against women. At the same time we settled another very expensive racial discrimination lawsuit. I'm confident that this will no longer be the case with Spagnoli, but it will take time for the culture of the department to change as well. You haven't said if you are a current or former SLPD officer, if you are still there clearly Spagnoli still has more house cleaning to do.
Michael Allen June 03, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Paul, ignore her. At this point it has to become clear that A) She doesn't know what she's talking about because every "fact" is a vague reference with no sources quoted (she pulls facts out of her backside because she thinks she sounds like her position is defensible but she can't find any data to support her random thoughts buzzing around in her head) Example- "Major police departments..." Exactly which departments? "18% African-American Officers"? Ok, which study, or survey said that so I can verify? She'll usually never say. It's sad because on the rare occasion that she has a solid fact, no one will believe her since she just makes things up so often. Crying wolf syndrome. B) She doesn't care about what you say, she has a preconceived narrative and agenda. Your referenced and verifiable facts are simply inconvenient to her cause, so they are ignored. C) Every statement you make somehow bolsters her own case despite the complete lack of any such inference, because she can't stand being wrong and having it on display. D) Name calling or belittling to undermine someone that has her nailed to the wall. It's what you'd teach a 7th grader in beginning debate class. My wife's a liberal and thinks Marga is a nut-job, and that's saying a lot coming from her, believe me!
Paul Vargas June 03, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Yeah, Michael, I know I should ignore her, but I can't stand some nutcase from another hemisphere coming here and acting like she knows it all.
Lisa June 13, 2012 at 04:32 AM
OMG, I guess I missed this one when I was having surgery. Marga, as I understand you have children. Why dont you have Mr. Hastings over for dinner some night, meth pipe and all? Maybe he could watch some tv with your kids, or better yet tuck them in and read them a bedtime story. I am just shocked at your vile distrust of the SLPD. Give this guy a "hand up" and let us know how it goes. Can't wait to hear.
Lisa June 13, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Oh, and yes I do wonder as did others here what the aunt was doing out at almost midnight with those children. Doesn't surprise me though, every now and then when I'm in a Walmart later in the evening, I see scores of screaming crying, obviously tired small children in tow with what looks like the entire family out shopping way past what one would think is a decent bedtime for children that young.
Marga Lacabe June 13, 2012 at 05:50 AM
Am I to understand, Lisa, that you believe that people should either be welcomed to my dinner table or be in jail and accused of child molestation? But honestly, I'd be just as likely to let Hastings babysit my kids as to let you. I hope if you are a Lisa I know, you'll identify yourself so that doesn't come up :-)
Lisa June 13, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Marga, sorry, I've never met you. However, maybe we've met at the Farmers Market in the past and I don't remember??? If so, I apologize. I'm usually there with a good sized group at The Vine, but haven't been this season-been out of commision since my back surgery.
Lisa June 13, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Marga, the issue I have like others here is that this loser is in SL, grabbed a child and god knows what would have happened next. Remember that incident in Union City that happened within minutes inside a store with the relative quite close by? Let's say this was 2 in the afternoon and this happened to you, would you still feel the same way over the "charges"? You are slamming the SLPD over what they charged him with, they did their job and you take the side of a loser this city doesn't need lurking around...a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e. Blame the drugs? I'm venturing to guess most of the time drugs factor into molestation. God knows what he'll try next, and that's what I find really scary. I'm just wondering why you as a SL resident can't thank the SLPD for nabbing this guy?
Marga Lacabe June 13, 2012 at 07:03 AM
Lisa, according to the story "he reached into the booth" to grab a child which is different from having actually grabbed a child. Now I wasn't there, so I can only go by the information the Police has chosen to release to the public. To me, the sum of that information, suggests a man who is crazy and/or high and just acting irrationally. It does not suggest a child molester. Have you spent much time in the Tenderloin or Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley? There are many people who act in strange and threatening ways. I don't assume for a second any of them is a child molester. And I don't know why you are so thrilled this guy was nabbed. According to this article, he has an extensive criminal record. That means he's been in and out of jail for a long time. So in he goes again, the states spends several tens of thousands of dollars to process him and incarcerate him, and out he goes a few months from now and whatever danger he is today, he'll still be then. The fact is, this is a social problem, not a police problem, but we make it into one by not addressing it otherwise.
Leah Hall June 13, 2012 at 02:58 PM
"The Caging of America: Why do we lock up so many people?" -The New Yorker 1/2012 For "Big and deep thinkers" I've recommended this article to lots of friends and even to my father, a conservative Republican and administrator who has worked with colleagues in the justice system. Everyone who has given feedback as really appreciated it. It offers profound insights that both the political Right and Left "doesn't want to hear." http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2012/01/30/120130crat_atlarge_gopnik
Leah Hall June 13, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Here's a written quote I received from my dad about the article: "Pretty much all true, the article. There are a few bright spots---there was a nightly news piece this week about a couple of dozen prisoners at the (...) Detention Center who were wearing the robes and receiving high school diplomas [not GED's] that they had earned while incarcerated. Their ages ranged up to the mid-thirty's. Courses taught by volunteers and jail staff. I had a little experience with jail while I was with (...), which has a jail for about 400 people. The Detention Chief was one of the better County executives, and most of the guards were all right, also, but there were some who could just as well have been inside, looking out. They jail is clean, provides medical services, and so on, but this year there have been (...) suicides there...I'm not sure why."


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