A registered sex offender who took pictures of a 9-year-old girl at a Publix supermarket is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation after threatening to kill himself, police said.
Pembroke Pines police said Joseph Fezza, 64, threatened to kill himself Thursday after being told he has 30 days to move for violating a city ordinance forbidding registered sex offenders or predators from living within 2,500 feet of a school, day care, playground or park.
According to the police report, Fezza said he was going to kill himself "because it would be better off that way." Fezza said he "does take medications and has had suicidal thoughts in the past."
After refusing a voluntary examination, Fezza was taken to High Point Treatment Center in Cooper City against his will under the Florida Mental Health Act.
Fezza was issued a trespass warning and is no longer allowed inside the Publix at 5997 Stirling Road after Maria Padilla-Leon caught him taking pictures of her 9-year-old daughter. She spent last weekend handing out fliers to warn neighbors about him.
Local 10's Jeff Weinsier confronted Fezza about the incident last week.
"Mr. Fezza, I need to talk to you about why you are taking pictures of kids in Publix," said Weinsier.
"It was a mistake," said Fezza.
"You're a registered sex offender," replied Weinsier.
"I didn't do anything illegal," said Fezza. "I wasn't arrested."
"You took pictures of young girls in Publix," said Weinsier.
"One picture I took," said Fezza.