Weather Updates

Cops: Sexual predator was staring at girl in McDonald’s play area

Joseph O'Brien / phofrom Cook County Sheriff's office

Joseph O'Brien / photo from Cook County Sheriff's office

storyidforme: 42293420
tmspicid: 15641321
fileheaderid: 7052162

A convicted sexual predator is back behind bars after being caught allegedly staring at a young girl at McDonald’s restaurant playground area in the northwest suburbs.

Witnesses said Joseph O’Brien, 36, was in the indoor play area near a table of mothers and children at the McDonald’s in 1900 block of East Higgins Road in Elk Grove Township, according to a release from the Cook County Sheriff’s office.

Patrons complained he was staring at an 11-year-old girl and a manager asked him to leave and called police, the release said. The manager told deputies it was not the first time O’Brien had been asked to leave the play area.

O’Brien, a registered sex offender, told deputies he was staying at a nearby motel instead of his registered address in Maine Township, police said. He was charged with felony failing to update his address to police and criminal trespassing.

Bond was set at $75,000 at a Dec. 24 hearing in Rolling Meadows, police said. He remains in Cook County Jail pending a Jan. 18 preliminary hearing.

O’Brien was placed on the sex offender list after being convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse causing bodily harm in Cook County in 2001, authorities said. He was 21 at the time, and the victim was 23.

Police said he’s been arrested 24 times since 1995, and was convicted in October 2006 and July 2010 of failing to register as a sex offender.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.