LCSO: Cleveland mom helps nab daughter’s alleged predator

Lacy, Justin Wayne

A 34-year-old Onalaska man, Justin Lacy, was arrested on Monday, April 25, on a charge of Online Solicitation of a Minor, a third-degree felony, after he allegedly made plans to have sex with a 15-year-old Cleveland girl and then drove to girl’s house in Cleveland for that purpose.

According to Capt. David Meyers, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Lacy reportedly reached out to the 15-year-old girl through Facebook to proposition her for sex.

“He started texting her through Facebook messenger,” said Meyers.

The teen’s mom told Bluebonnet News that her daughter immediately brought his message to her attention.

“She said, ‘Mom, why is Justin Lacy messaging me?’ I told her at first to give him the benefit of the doubt, but that changed when he started asking questions about her age,” her mom said.

From that point on, the messages were intercepted by her mom.

“He was very much aware that she was 15. He didn’t realize he was talking to me. Within a relatively short amount of time, he said he was coming to our house,” her mom said. “He is a professional fisherman in the Onalaska area. He was a friend of my dad’s. I thought I had a little more than an hour for him to get from Onalaska to Tarkington, but he was here within 15-20 minutes.”

Within that narrow time frame, the mom reportedly called two male friends for backup and moved her vehicles out of the driveway to give the appearance that her daughter was home alone.

“I had a gun and was planning to hold him at gunpoint until police arrived,” she said.

Lacy reportedly got spooked and left not long after arriving at her home. At that point, the mom, a female friend and two male friends gave chase, following Lacy in their vehicle.

“She followed him from Tarkington to US 59, calling 911 along the way when they were in Shepherd. He ended up getting out of his vehicle with Polk County sheriff’s deputies. They talked to him and her, and then called us to tell us what was going on,” Meyers said.

A Liberty County deputy met the mom and daughter later to take a report, which was then handed off to LCSO investigators the next morning, according to Meyers.

“Upon checking the status of the girl’s phone, there was enough evidence to get a warrant for him for Online Solicitation of a Minor. After obtaining a warrant from a judge, investigators went to Livingston and arrested Mr. Lacy. He was brought back to Liberty County and put in jail,” Meyers said. “From the time of the call to the time of arrest was less than 12 hours.”

Meyers said the sheriff’s office has taken some criticism on social media about the arrest not being immediate. He stressed that there are certain steps that have to be taken in these types of cases in order to gain a successful conviction.

“As soon as the sheriff’s office determined that a charge was able to be filed on the suspect, a warrant was obtained for his arrest. Some cases take a little while due to the nature of the investigation,” he said.

The girl’s mom, however, questions the fact that an investigator was not immediately dispatched to her first 911 call.

“Based on other information I received the morning of the investigation, I learned that Mr. Lacy could have been been arrested on the night this happened,” the mom said.

Previous articleLiberty County Jail arrest report, April 24, 2023
Next articleLiberty Shell station robbed at gunpoint
Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.