Parents concerned as St. Johns County deputies search for flasher
CRESCENT BEACH, Fla. – St. Johns County detectives have received tips that they hope will help them identify a man accused of flashing an 11-year-old girl Tuesday after she got off her school bus.
The girl said a man drove up and greeted her in the 6000 block of Constanero Road in the Treasure Beach area, north of Crescent Beach, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
The middle-school girl told deputies that when she looked at the driver, he was exposing himself, and she ran home.
The flasher is described as a white man in his early to mid-20s with short brown or black hair and no facial hair. He was driving an older-model silver four-door passenger car. The vehicle had a large scratch on the passenger side door, deputies said.
The St. Johns County School District is working with the Sheriff's Office in the search for the accused flasher. The district sent out the following statement Tuesday night to parents in the area of the incident:
"The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office is investigating an incident in your area in which a male suspect approached a student after she got off the bus today. We are working closely with law enforcement officials as they continue their investigation into this incident. Please urge your children to heighten the awareness of their surroundings and to report any suspicious and inappropriate activity to a trusted adult immediately. We do expect additional support from the sheriff's office in this area until the investigation is resolved."
The district's director of transportation rode school buses Wednesday morning, and a deputy followed the bus on the beach route in the afternoon.
When the bus arrived Wednesday, many parents were waiting.
"My daughter thought that she was going to start walking home, but this definitely changed," Julia Durdin said. "She's not allowed to walk home alone."
Richard Warren said his granddaughter rides the bus, and until Tuesday, his biggest worry was was speeding cars.
"I'll be up here probably every morning and every afternoon," Warren said.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said that if parents can't be there, they should encourage children to walk or wait in groups, which are less likely to be approached.
"We see it in our society and it's a God-awful thing. But when it hits this close to home, we need to catch these people and bring them to justice," Warren said.
Anyone with any information on the identity of the man pictured in the composite sketch is asked to call Detective Jennifer Burres at the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at 904-209-1532. You can also remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS.
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