Two high-risk sex offenders stopped in downtown Pasco's Peanuts Park on the same day claimed they didn't know the one-acre concrete plaza is a designated city park.
Michael Arthur Figueroa and Jeffrey Wayde Hull have been barred from going to public places where kids gather, including schools, parks, swimming pools and libraries.
Figueroa, 39, and Hull, 44, each face one felony charge of criminal trespass against children.
They have pleaded innocent in Franklin County Superior Court, and are set for Oct. 1 trials.
According to court documents filed in the separate cases, Pasco Officer Jeremy Jones was working with the Street Crimes Unit the afternoon of July 28 when he caught the men.
The officer saw Figueroa riding a bicycle through the park and recognized the Pasco man as a registered sex offender who'd been ordered to stay out of all Pasco parks.
Jones said he drove up into Peanuts Park and contacted Figueroa, who had stopped in the middle of the park to talk with a documented gang member, documents said.
"Figueroa told me that he knew the name of the place he was in was Peanuts Park, but he thought 'park' meant grass and trees, not a concrete area," Jones wrote in court documents.
He arrested Figueroa on suspicion of trespassing. A folding knife clipped to Figueroa's belt and his bicycle were given to the acquaintance at Figueroa's direction.
About the same time, Jones said he was standing in the park -- which is south of Lewis Street adjacent to the farmers market -- when Hull walked in front of him.
Jones also was familiar with Hull and his status.
Hull reportedly told the officer he knew he wasn't supposed to be in any parks, but said he was passing through in the shade because it was so hot outside, court documents said.
Hull said he didn't know the area was a park, but knew its name was Peanuts Park, documents said.
Jones allegedly found two crack pipes in Hull's pockets while placing him under arrest.
Figueroa has a 1994 conviction of child assault and sex abuse in Roosevelt County, Mont. The charge is equivalent to the Washington crime of first-degree rape of a child.
Hull, who said on court documents that he is homeless, has a criminal history that includes a conviction for second-degree child molestation.
Both men have been classified as Level 3 sex offenders, which means they are considered highly likely to reoffend.
Figueroa and Hull remain in the Franklin County jail on $1,000 bail each.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; email@example.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer