Level III Sex Offender Arrested After H.S. Threat
In yet another example of the frustration faced by communities over released Level III sex offenders, a man was taken down by Kennenwick police after he walked into Kennewick High School Friday morning, and threatened a teacher.
Police say shortly after 8am, 36-year-old Brandon Robert Hankel entered the gym area, and was quickly confronted by a teacher who asked him what he was doing there. When the teacher asked if she could help him and why he was there, he allegedly make a threat about wanting to sexually assault her. He had first gotten her attention because after entering the school, he was staring at her strangely.
She was able to run and enter a room and close the door. Officials called 911, but as Hankel tried to run, he was brought down by the school resource officer before police arrived. He's facing burglary with sexual motivation.
Hankel was released in February 2019 from previous sex offender charges, and at that time Benton County Sheriff's officials advised residents he was moving to the area. However, he is listed as a transient and therefore had no official address. He is required to remain under DOC supervision.
No one was injured (except maybe Hankel when he was taken down) in the incident.
Many citizens in our communities are frustrated and worried when various level offenders move into their area, but law enforcement officials say all they can do is monitor and respond if the person re-offends. Once the offenders have satisfied the terms of their imprisonment and programs, they are indeed free to go legally. However, the vast majority of them are required to check in with police and sheriff's and they are usually under Department of Corrections supervision.