Wythe County Sheriff, Wytheville Police Department not involved with sex offender Santa investigation

By  | 

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) A man who played Santa Claus in Wytheville over the weekend is now being investigated by the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Leonard Kidd is a registered sex offender but posed for pictures with pets and children in Petco.

The Wytheville Police Department and the Wythe County Sheriff's Office tell us neither agencies is investigating.

"I think they should have looked into it more," said David Hay, a man who lives in Wythe County and a customer of Petco.

It's a statement that's been echoed around Wythe County. Leonard Kidd was a Petco employee.

The corporate office responded briefly to our questions by saying the company takes the safety of their guests seriously. "We can confirm that the individual in question is no longer at Petco and we are cooperating with local law enforcement" - a spokesperson wrote in an email.

Leonard Kidd was hired by the store and played Santa Claus over the weekend. We do know he renewed his sex offender registration in October.

In 2002, Kidd was convicted of aggravated sexual battery against a minor and assault and battery of a police officer. He was released from jail just last year under one condition - stay away from events where children could be present.

"To have a person in that position, you don't know what he might be doing. You don't know what he might be capable of. He may be repented of but that doesn't me he's not going to make the same mistakes down the road," Hay said.

WDBJ7 spoke with his probation officer who wouldn't comment on Kidd.

A spokesperson with the state Department of Corrections says if they find a probation violation, they'll take action.