There is a facebook video with thousands of shares that narrates a creepy encounter between a local St Augustine mother with her 11-month-old daughter on her hip as she pumped gas at Sunoco on North Ponce de Leon Boulevard.
The mother began recording the wireless phone video after she noticed a camera flash out of the corner of her eye. An unknown shirtless man sitting in his car was taking pictures of her child.
“I then asked him, are you taking pictures of my daughter?” the mother wrote on her facebook. “Oh, I can’t wait until she gets older,” the man in the car with the camera is heard to say. “My heart dropped, and I stopped pumping my gas. I entered my car to get my phone and immediately started recording him.”
The mother collected the video evidence and photograph of the man’s vehicle and tag number, then she contacted both the St Johns County Sheriff and St Augustine Police Department.
“At this time, there is no crime being committed, but it is concerning,” Officer Dee Brown with the St. Augustine Police Department told local reporters. “You’re in a public place. There’s nothing against the law about taking pictures.”
Although the encounter is disturbing for the child’s mother, the police department says taking pictures is not a crime. Brown says that the man has committed no crime and police cannot do anything in response.
“I noticed a laptop on his passenger seat. It was opened with minimized pictures of kids and adults,” the facebook post continued. “As you can see, he had no shirt on. He put it on as he began to get out the car.”
The driver of a vehicle behind the mother reportedly cautioned her to get back in her car and go, telling her that the man had “been reported three times to St Johns County,” and that he has been spotted near Webster and Osceola Elementary School taking pictures from the same car.
“Trust and believe he’ll continue to do this to others,” the mother wrote. “From a parent to many other parents, please keep a close eye on your kids. You may not see him in the red car, but he has many other vehicles.”
“Moving forward, as a concerned mother, I’ll do whatever it takes to protect my kids. That’s a promise.”