Police: Man showed porn at playground
Oak Cliff: He is beaten by residents, who hold him until officials arrive

By HOLLY YAN / The Dallas Morning News

A man accused of showing a pornographic magazine to four children as young as 7 at an Oak Cliff playground was beaten by nearby residents and held until police arrived.

Police said Brandon Scott Burke, 20, went to an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Pratt Street about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and sat down at a playground where several children were playing.

Elizabeth Williams' 7-year-old daughter was one of them.

"At first he sat there for a while," said Ms. Williams, whose daughter was being watched by another child's mother. "From what [my daughter] told me ... he came up and pulled out some dirty pictures and showed them to the kids. He pulled them out of his backpack."

At least four children – a 9-year-old girl, a 7-year-old girl and two 7-year-old boys – saw pictures of a nude woman in the magazine, police said. Police reports indicate Mr. Burke briefly held the hand of one of the children.

Ms. Williams said the other mother saw Mr. Burke and asked what he was doing.

"He tried to run then," she said. "She was screaming, and some of the people living by her held him until the police got there."

According to a police report, Mr. Burke said about 15 men "jumped him and hit him repeatedly on the face with their fists." He suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. A detective is investigating, but no arrests for assault have been made.

Mieshia Wesley, who baby-sits Ms. Williams' daughter, said she's not surprised so many people rushed to the playground to stop Mr. Burke. She estimated about 40 to 50 people gathered at the scene.

"Everybody knows everybody around here," she said.

Police seized the magazine and arrested Mr. Burke on suspicion of harmful display to a minor, a Class A misdemeanor. He was being held at Lew Sterrett Justice Center on Thursday in lieu of $6,000 bail.

Mr. Burke does not appear to have any criminal convictions in the Dallas area.

Dallas police Lt. C.L. Williams said it was unclear what Mr. Burke's intentions were.

"We interviewed him, and the information we've gotten is still kind of vague," said Lt. Williams, who heads the department's Crimes Against Children Unit. "When you look at these [cases] and try to consider them rationally, it tends to boggle the mind. It's hard to understand the motive."

Mr. Burke's listed address is in Pleasant Grove, about 10 miles away from the playground in central Oak Cliff.

"He said he was looking for a friend," Lt. Williams said. "We've not been able to verify that."

Ms. Williams said she appreciates her neighbors' help, but no one should have beaten Mr. Burke.

"I wish they would just hold him," she said. "I'm glad someone was there to stop him, but I'd rather police handle the justice."