• Registered sex offender arrested, accused of being on Iredell County school grounds

    By: Elsa Gillis


    IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. - The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office said it has charged a registered sex offender after he was spotted on school property Friday.

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    Deputies said John Paul Berry, 33, walked onto the property of Celeste Henkel Elementary School in Statesville.

    Officials said Berry is a registered sex offender out of Alexander County. He was convicted in 2008 for indecent liberties with a minor. He was also arrested in 2014 for being in a restricted area near children. An arrest warrant was taken out for Berry on the charge of felony sex offender on child premises Tuesday.

    [ALSO READ: Iredell County sheriff to get investigator to focus on school threats, safety]

    "Apparently, the gentleman is on an ankle monitor, and they have him kind of geocached off where he can’t be, or geofenced rather, in areas where he’s not supposed to be," Hamby said.

    Officials said he was found at his home in Alexander County and taken into custody on Springfield Drive in Stony Point.

    The school had a soft lockdown to ensure Berry was no longer there.

    Hamby did not believe Berry was ever inside the school.

    "I think it’s just a great example of law enforcement agencies working together, sharing information to keep the community and schools safe," Hamby said.

    Berry was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center and was issued a $15,000 secured bond.

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