WOODBINE, Ga. – A Ware County teacher and part-time law enforcement officer is under arrest after deputies say he was caught having sex with an underage boy in neighboring Camden County.
Tracy Wayne Crosby, 42, of Waycross, was booked Tuesday into the Camden County jail on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation of sodomy, according to the Camden County Sheriff's Office.
Crosby has been fired by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office and suspended from his teaching job in Ware County, his current and former employers confirmed to News4Jax on Thursday.
The 16-year-old victim's mother told investigators her son left home without saying why he was leaving. Deputies said the teen was then picked up by Crosby, who drove him to a nearby park.
The victim's mother later tracked down her son and the man at Georgia Waterfront Park and called the Sheriff's Office. Deputies arrested Crosby.
"This is a public area and people come here with their children," Woodbine resident Priscilla Krupp said.
People who frequent Georgia Waterfront Park were upset when they learned of the arrest.
"I'm really shocked," Woodbine resident Lori Carst said. "I hope they can patrol out here more often,"
In a statement provided to News4Jax, Ware County Schools Superintendent Jim LeBrun said Crosby has been placed on leave following his arrest.
"The school district is fully cooperating with all law enforcement agencies and the Professional Standards Commission," stated LeBrun. "No further information will be available until the police investigation and the district investigation have been completed."
Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett said Crosby worked part-time for his agency as a deputy sheriff for three to four years.
"This gives us all a black eye," said Bennett. " ... As a law enforcement officer, it's not just our duty to avoid evil, but also to avoid the appearance of evil."
According to detectives, more charges are pending.