Police have arrested a man witnesses say exposed himself to women at a restaurant Saturday. He's also suspected of flashing other women earlier this week.
VENICE, Florida -- Police say they have caught the flasher who exposed himself to young girls on the Venice beach. The man was arrested Saturday. He surrendered when confronted by police, who were prepared to use a Taser if he did not comply.
The mystery man was caught in the act, fondling himself, by a young 24-year-old Venice native who was at the beach with her friend. The two were sunbathing Monday afternoon close to the beach hot spot Sharky's.
The young woman snapped a picture on her cell phone, which could now be the most important piece of evidence in this case. The man's hand is seen on his private area, and he's naked. The picture is excellent quality.
Also, a tattoo can be seen on the man's arm, which could be the key to identifying him.
"I was so scared," the victim told 10 News. "It was disgusting. I couldn't watch, but I wanted to keep an eye on him, sort of. I didn't know what he was going to do next."
This flasher is bold.
He was just a few feet away from the young woman and her friend when he began masturbating, making eye contact with them.
"He seemed to be excited- to be enjoying it," the victim told 10 News.
It all began when he dropped the ladies a letter on notebook paper as he passed their blanket.
He said, "hey," and kept walking.
The note offered the women $200 if he could kiss their bottoms. He said he'd give each of them $100 if they complied, and told them "to wave" if they wanted to seal the deal.
They said he waved the money in front of them as he paced back and forth waiting for their response, but they kept their heads on their beach blanket, and put their sunglasses on as they took the cell phone picture and dialed 911.
The flasher eventually walked away.
This isn't the first time this kinky crime has been committed by the Venice flasher. Cops say he's been busy exposing and fondling himself on at least five other occasions in the last week alone. He's hit Venice beaches, bars, and even near Legacy Trail.
Chief Tom McNulty has been with the Venice Police Department for nearly three decades and has worked for years as a sex crimes detective.
"We can't think like they can," the Chief said. "He completely exposed himself and was masturbating. They take pleasure in people watching them. It sexually gratifies them."
The Chief's biggest fear is that this serial flasher will somehow escalate to sexual battery. So far, the man has masturbated in front of women and offered them money, but has not touched anyone. He did follow several women in a parking lot at one point.
"Everyone knows this happens, but no one expects this in a town like Venice. But, it happens folks," said the Chief.
"I want this guy caught," the victim told us. "That's what I want,so he doesn't bother anyone else."
Follow 10 News Reporter Melanie Michael on twitter @WTSPMelanie
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