Lawmaker says she’ll file legislation for fair worker background checks

Lawmaker says she’ll file legislation for fair worker background checks »Play Video
Fair worker Bryan McCann, 59, pleaded not guilty to trying to lure a 9-year-old girl at the Pierce County Fair. The company that hired him said he was background checked, but there're no laws requiring or regulating them. A Washington lawmaker says she'll introduce legislation to require background checks for fair workers.

GRAHAM, Wash. -- A worker at a fair in Washington is accused of trying to lure a 9-year-old girl on fair grounds.

KATU’s On Your Side Investigators discovered last month that state laws in both Washington and Oregon do not require background checks for fair workers.

50-year-old Bryan McCann pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of luring and attempted kidnapping at the Pierce County Fair.

Funtastic, the carnival company that hired McCann, says he was background checked, but because there are no laws requiring background checks or regulating how they're done, KATU and others have to take Funtastic at their word.

Investigators say McCann approached the young girl on Sunday and asked her to go on rides with him. Her older sister intervened, reportedly causing McCann to storm off.

Washington State Rep. Liz Pike, of Camas, promised KATU last month that she'd file legislation requiring background checks for fair workers. She says the case at the Pierce County Fair shows how much mandatory background checks are needed.

“I’m moving ahead with the legislation we talked about,” Pike said. "While I regret that this happened at the Pierce County Fair, it just underscores the need for parents to talk to their kids about these kinds of things and that when these kinds of things happen, they know how to react and get away from that person."

Pike says she plans on introducing that legislation in January during Washington's next legislative session. She also plans to look into toughening penalties for people found guilty of preying on children at carnivals and fairs.

The president of Funtastic says as much as they can look into a person's past, sometimes there's no way to predict what they'll do in the future.