May 6, 2006
An alleged peeping tom is out on the streets after a judge finds him incompetent to stand trial.
David L. Long Jr. is someone police say is a habitual offender and the system keeps putting him back out on the streets to do it all over again.
Long's history of breaking the law dates back to 1999 with charges of breaking and entering, stealing a woman's panties, dealing marijuana, peeping, and the list goes on. In the most recent case a graduate student woke up to find a man kneeling at her bedside.
26-year-old Long was in court last week facing those charges along with additional break-ins and a judge found he did not understand the proceedings against him.
"We are very concerned that he could be a threat to our community, and he continues to be arrested and released by the courts because they view he is not competent to stand trial,” said Charlottesville Police Captain Chip Harding.
Our commonwealth's attorney says it’s rare someone found incompetent is set free. More often they're confined to a mental health facility until they're deemed fit to stand trial.
“Our frustration is this may escalate into something more, and it may not, but its not something I’d want to gamble on,” said Harding.
“We don't often see somebody who isn't restorable to competency. We don't often see someone we can't prosecute because they are deemed to be incompetent and we don’t often see someone we are not able to house in a facility,” said Asst. Commonwealth’s Attorney Claude Worrell.
Rare or not police say even one person free to re-offend is one too many.
The judge did order long to take part in a bridge ministries program.