53ºF

51-year-old accused of indecent exposure

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Derick Sweet was arrested early Sunday after deputies said children saw him masturbating outside an apartment complex on Woodlawn Street in St. Augustine.

According to the arrest report, Sweet, 51, was walking around Building F with his sexual organ in his hand around 4 p.m. Saturday. Witnesses said he was mumbling to a woman.

About five children witnessed the incident, deputies said.

St. Johns County deputies said he refused to stop when confronted by a deputy and tried to pull away as he was being handcuffed.

Sweet was charged with indecent exposure, trespassing and resisting an officer without violence.

Dr. Lynn Waddleton, a psychiatrist, said parents should warn their children before they find themselves in this situation.

“(Tell them to) get away as quickly as possible and not give the person any of your attention and tell them the people who do this kind of thing or show their body parts, their private parts, they're doing it because they're trying to get a reaction from you, just like the bullies try to get a reaction,” Waddleton said. “Just act like you don't care about them one bit.”

Waddleton said to tell children to alert an adult or call 911.

Sweet has been arrested dozens of times, dating back to 1988. He's been to prison five times, serving a total of just over seven years. His convictions have been for armed robbery, burglary and cocaine.

He was arrested in 2004 for assaulting a police officer and was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Other arrests for Sweet include aggravated assault, simple assault, drinking in public and many times for trespassing. 

Waddleton said Sweet’s mental health needs to be addressed instead of the state just continuing to place him in jail and letting him back out on the streets.


About the Author: