Sex offender arrested after bizarre incident at daycare
A man who allegedly was under the influence of prescription drugs when he parked just five inches from the Morristown-Hamblen Preschool building on Wednesday, and then entered for no apparent reason, has been charged with failing to register as a sex offender, authorities say.
The reason that Timothy Lee Auler, 50, wasn’t supposed to be at the Cherokee Drive daycare center is he was convicted of raping a 17-year-old girl in Dyersburg 21 years ago, according to Detective Sgt. Vicki Arnold with the Morristown Police Department.
Auler first reported he was at the daycare center to pick up two children, but the names he gave did not match any of the students, according to Arnold.
The detective said this morning Auler later indicated he didn’t remember entering the school or even why he was there.
Auler, who is classified as a violent sex offender and must report his address four times a year, said he was test-driving a vehicle he was repairing for a woman, according to the detective.
After making a purchase at Auto Zone on West Andrew Johnson Highway, he drove in the opposite direction of his home on Dewberry Drive off Kidwells Ridge Road to the daycare center, according to Arnold, who added Auler reported he “blacked out.”
“He said he does not remember why he chose that parking lot versus another parking lot,” the detective said.
Auler made it through the unlocked outside doors, but the interior doors leading into the school were locked, according to a warrant.
Auler was charged with DUI on Wednesday.
He pleaded guilty to rape in 1992 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
- By Robert Moore, Tribune Staff Writer