GAINESVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) — The people of Gainesville speak of the local ice-cream shop owner as a confident man who loved getting involved with events around town.
“He was the head of a coalition around here so he was very involved with the square,” said Jamie, a father of one and Gainesville resident.
“He seemed like a very sweet caring person, a little eccentric, a little,umm a little flamboyant maybe even,” said Ashley Brown who works in the same complex that houses the ice cream shop.
The owner of the ice cream shop Endrick Torres was arrested on June 18 by Gainesville police for violating Georgia sex offender laws.
“An alarming situation that you have a registered sex offender operating a doughnut and ice cream shop in downtown which is going to bring children in.”
Police said Torres has operated the store for roughly six months. They found he had given a false name on the lease agreement to the property owners and has also been charged with forgery.
Torres has a long history of sex offending against minors dating back to 2014 starting in New York.
Ashley Brown spoke with him regularly, and said he was quite open on the topics he would chat about.
“He didn’t seem like he would hurt anybody, like I mean he was kind of sexual. I’m starting to think now also maybe he was talking to me because I look younger than I am,” she said.
Miss Brown also said he would often host events at the ice cream store for kids.
“He would host children’s parties, for the children’s party planner that’s in there.”
Gainesville parents are still coming to terms with just who they were dealing with.
“I mean he opened an ice-cream shop, like I told you, my daughter went in there, she got an ice-cream and I’m like, it’s just shocking man,” said Jamie
Gainesville police said they know of at least three different alias Torres has used on social media and to falsify documents.