Michigan man arrested for attempting to purchase children

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man who police say tried to buy children to sexually assault them has a criminal record dating back to 2005 in Florida.

Michigan State Police say the 29-year-old suspect had items “related to the planned sexual assault” when they arrested him near 44th Street and S. Division Avenue Thursday.

Michigan State Police say the suspect unknowingly arranged a meeting with an undercover officer when he went online to try to buy children for sexual exploitation. Police say during the meeting, the suspect said he planned to sexually assault the children.

Jail records show the suspect is David Claire Riggs. He was being held in the Kent County jail Friday on charges of child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime, according to MSP.

24 Hour News 8 spoke to Riggs’ family in Florida over the phone Friday. They say Riggs recently moved to Michigan from Florida, and they’re surprised to learn of the accusations.

“He was a great kid, he was a good kid. He was trying to do what was right. He’s had his scrapes, but he hasn’t done bad, bad things,” Hazel Riggs, David’s grandmother, told 24 Hour News 8.

Riggs has no criminal record in Michigan. However, documents obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show the Middleburg, Florida native was released from probation on March 1 after serving a sentence for leaving the scene of a crash involving injury. He was also convicted of petty theft in 2005, according to Florida state records.

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