An alleged child sex offender is today behind bars after a man in Perth lured 61-year-old Russ Alan Portelli to a park by posing as a 14-year-old boy on Grindr.
After having exchanged sexually explicit messages, the alleged offender was met on Thursday morning at a park in Kelmscott in South-Eastern Perth, where he was placed under citizen’s arrest, according to WA Police.
It is understood the man who lured Portelli to the park is believed to be in his 20s and brought a friend to the meeting. When the offender arrived, they called the police. Portelli was then charged by Armadale Detectives with intent to procure a person believed to be under 16 years for sexual activity.
Speaking with Channel 9 News the two men said of their plan, “The way we look at it is, if it wasn’t us it could actually be a 14-year-old person meeting that adult so, I’d rather it be us than some innocent kid.”
“If all the required circumstances are not met, the member of the public could find themselves liable to prosecution of a serious offence,” a spokesperson for WA Police said.
“We accept that people sometimes make decisions on the spur of the moment and sometimes the decision to pursue or apprehend a suspect may be the right decision, dependent on the circumstances and their own physical capabilities.
“But — we ask the public to always consider their personal safety above everything else and if an offender is running away and you don’t know if they are carrying a weapon, not pursuing may well prove to be the best possible outcome.”
After being denied bail, the alleged offender is due to appear in Armadale Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, November 3.