WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY- A
total of 6 men have now been caught in the I-Team's on-going Internet sting.
This arrest, police say, is the most disturbing.
The latest alleged
predator, Jay Hastings of Scranton, remains locked up at
the Luzerne County Correctional Facility. Not only did he admit to arranging to
meet with a 14-year-old boy, but he also confessed to having sex with a 15-year-old
boy in the days preceding the sting.
Police have also confiscated his home
computer full of child pornography. The most disturbing part of this arrest is
that Jay Hastings is the back-up mascot “Grump" at special events for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
The arrest took place at
a local mall, the predetermined meeting point for Hastings and the our I-Team decoy.
White Haven police, assisted
by Wilkes-Barre Township police, arrested 42-year-old Jay Hastings of Scranton after days of chatting
on-line, with what he thought was a 14-year-old boy.
Andy Mehalshick stated,
“Hastings left no doubt what he wanted to do. He
wanted to meet up and soon.”
Our Internet decoy said, “He's
pretty ferocious, intense, yeah, this guy was right off the bat, third word out
of his mouth was sexual from day one and he wanted to meet me."
The decoy was actually a
White Haven Police Officer. Hastings exchanged photographs
on the computer with the 14-year-old decoy, and even called him on his cell
He wanted to meet in a public
place, a local mall, and told the police decoy that we couldn't miss him, that he
would be using a Lackawanna County Stadium van.
Later, Hastings called to say he had instead borrowed
his aunt’s car and that he would walk up to the boy and introduce himself.
The I-Team waited and sure
enough, Hastings showed up. The decoy
walked him away from the mall and police moved in.
Andy asked Hastings, “What are you here for
Hastings responded, ”Actually I
was here to pick up a friend.”
Andy asks, “Who's your
friend? A 14-year-old boy?”
questioning Hastings admitted he had engaged
in sex earlier with a 15-year-old boy. He also gave the teenager's name to
detectives and told investigators he had child pornography on his home
computer. A few hours after the arrest Scranton police confiscated that
When asked about not
bringing the stadium van, Hastings said had changed his mind because he did not
want to draw attention to himself. Hastings does some special events
as the “Grump.”
White Haven Police
Officer Tom Zolke speaking about Hastings said, "Just this guy's
demeanor from day one, he wanted a 14-year-old boy didn't care where he was
going to go to get one. He even came to another county to meet our decoy."
White Haven Police Officer
Chaz Balogh said, "Many parents forget they are looking for males as well, so
this is another warning for parents to pay attention what their sons or
daughters are doing it doesn't matter if they are male or female."
Yankee officials had no comment other than that Hastings was a back-up “Grump.”
At the time of his arrest Hastings told police he had a "Grump" event
on Saturday, and he had been at an elementary school as the “Grump” on Friday.Hastings remains locked up at
the Luzerne County Correctional Facility unable to post $10,000 bail as of
Monday night. He will have a hearing on the charges next week.