Warrant: Boy had brush with man who set teen on fire

NORCROSS -- A 13-year-old boy at a Norcross public pool had an unnerving brush in June with a man who would be accused of tying up another teen and setting him on fire the following month, documents released this week show.

In July, police in Norcross arrested Woodstock resident Joseph Zeock, 61, on charges he tied up a 17-year-old Cherokee County boy, gagged him and set him on fire in a Woodstock hotel. The victim survived after treatment at a Grady Memorial Hospital burn unit.

According to a warrant filed this week in Gwinnett Magistrate Court, Zeock was naked in a locker room at West Gwinnett Park and Aquatic Center when he made an advance on another boy a month before the burning incident.

The boy, 13, told authorities the nude man was standing at a nearby sink, whistled and pointed out that they were alone in the locker room.

"The suspect used his index finger and made the 'come here' motion with it," a responding Gwinnett police officer wrote.

The boy fled the locker room. When police arrived, the suspect was gone, a police report states.

Gwinnett police have charged Zeock with enticing a child in connection with the June incident.

Zeock was arrested in July when a concerned citizen recognized him from news broadcasts and alerted authorities. Norcross police apprehended him at the All Around Suites, where they said he'd been holed up.

In the burning incident, officials said Zeock offered the victim money in return for sex acts.

During one of the alleged acts, the boy was bound, gagged, and set on fire.

Zeock reportedly has prior sex-related arrests in Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania.

Records show Zeock was held in Gwinnett on charges of aggravated battery, cruelty to children, false imprisonment and solicitation of sodomy until August, when he was transferred to the custody of Cherokee County authorities.


TOWG 3 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone honestly feel that this man should ever be out of custody for the rest of his life?


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