HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — Hendersonville police arrested two sex offenders caught in public parks in the span of 18 hours.
The first incident took place Thursday evening around 5:30, when a license plate reader camera recorded a stolen license plate on a Mercedes that was turning into Memorial Park.
Hendersonville Police Officer Joseph Hill went to investigate and ended up talking to Herman Sowell Jr. The officer asked if those in the car had lost or recently reported a stolen plate. Sowell Jr. responded he had just bought the car and has paperwork.
Hendersonville police quickly determined the 54-year-old is a known criminal with a violent sexual history that includes attempted rape, sexual battery and incest charges from a 2011 case out of La Vergne.
Sowell Jr. was taken into custody and charged with violation of the sex offender registry laws, possession of a schedule 6 drug for resale and possession of stolen property.
Sgt. Christopher Gagnon told News 2, “They discovered the individual they stopped was a registered sex offender, and he is in the park and near the high school.” He continued, “He is in violation of registry restrictions, and he had 22 grams of marijuana on him inside a school zone. It’s one good stop using LPR system, turned into an excellent arrest getting a sex offender violating his restrictions off the street.”
In addition to his multiple charges in Hendersonville, Herman Sowell Jr. has a long history in Nashville that includes drugs, assault and multiple driving violations.
18 hours later, Hendersonville officers were arresting another sex offender accused of violating statues.
Friday afternoon, Corporal James Barnes, Taylor Cash and Detective Sean Simms responded to Drakes Creek Athletic Complex. They were investigating two suspects in a criminal trespassing case involving U-Haul.
When officers searched the area, they found a man and woman matching the description of the suspects. The two were eating lunch.
The officers quickly identified the man as Charles Springer, a sex offender out of Nashville.
According to investigators, the 35-year-old has multiple charges of indecent exposure on his rap sheet. Police arrested Springer for violations of the sex offender registry since he was in a park, near a school and playground.
While getting into the back of the police car, Spring said, “I was having lunch and I got arrested for having lunch.”
Springer’s girlfriend told News 2 they were never in the park, and they were just eating lunch. “He’s my partner. He is my best friend. I love him.” When asked how she feels about him going to jail, she said, “That’s okay. We’ll get him out.”
Both Charles Springer and Herman Sowell Jr. are in the Sumner County jail charged on violation of the sex offender registry.