West Racine and Manree Park residents received calls Tuesday from the Racine Police Department about a public information meeting this week because a convicted sex offender is moving into the neighborhood.
Michael Fink, 44, will be moving to 918 Lathrop Avenue later this month. He was convicted in 1994 of two counts of second degree sexual assault of a child. Fink also has a 1987 conviction of second degree sexual assault.
According to a release from RPD, Fink spent about 14 years in prison and in 2008 was confined to Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Facility after being indentified as a sexually violent person. On Dec. 14, the court ordered Fink to supervised release with the conditions that he wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and register for the rest of his life with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Program.
Representatives from the Racine Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Corrections and the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Facility will present information to the public, but RPD stresses this is not a public forum for comment. They also want residents to know this should be an adults-only meeting.
"This meeting is informational only and is not a forum for public comment," the release reads. "Adult subject matter will be discussed at this meeting and we ask that only adults attend."
Diana Higgenbottom lives in Manree Park and while she doesn't have young children living with her anymore, she has plenty of kids in her family who visit. There are also a number of children who live in the neighborhood and walk to school at Fratt.
"The fact that this man is labeled 'violent' worries me," she said. "I don't want to make his life miserable so I'm looking at this more as what can we do to keep everyone safe?"
A Fratt teacher and resident of the neighborhood said she is disturbed by the news and somewhat annoyed that because she doesn't have a landline, she didn't get a call. She asked that we not use her name.
"It is obviously very disturbing, especially since he will literally be only one block away!" she said in an email to Patch. "I don't have a landline and don't read the paper regularly so if not for social media, I could have very easily missed being informed and for that I am upset!"
Sending a letter to all residents within a five-mile radius plus the phone calls, she added, would have been the better way to communicate with members of the neighborhood.
According to city assessment records, the home has been owned by John and Paige Boyle since 2004, but a neighbor said they moved several months ago.
Patch has a call into the Department of Corrections about whether or not the DOC is renting the home for Fink and why they chose this location.
The meeting Thursday runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Fratt School, 3501 Kinzie Avenue, in the multi-purpose room. Call Sgt. Jessie Metoyer at (262) 635-7761 with any questions.