• Fernandina Beach police are soliciting help from anyone who can help connect the suspect's description with the vehicle used in one of the incidents. Peg Davis/News-Leader

Police receive reports of nude man touching himself on the beach

According to Fernandina Beach Police Chief James Hurley, local officers have received three reports recently of a nude man in the north end area of Fernandina Beach touching his genitalia in public. The man was seen at Beach Accesses 4 North and 16 North, and near Beach Access 9 North, somewhere between East 5th and East 6th streets, off Ocean Avenue.

“We had a first report of this witnessed by three 14-year-old girls,” Hurley wrote to the News-Leader on Tuesday night. “The next report by an adult woman provided good intel and we are hopeful of identifying this pervert.”

The earlier victim reported to the police in June that she was walking north on the beach from Beach Access 16 North one afternoon in April. As the victim approached the boundary of Fort Clinch State Park, she observed a nude, white male, estimated to be about 40 years old, bald, with some dark hair on the sides of his head, and no visible tattoos. The man was touching his private parts. The woman told the responding officer that she was furious and decided to confront the man.

“As she began to walk towards him, he immediately put a towel around himself, picked up his swim trunks and began to walk briskly away and off the beach,” according to the report. The woman reportedly said she did not tell police at the time because “she thought she had scared the man.”

Once the woman learned on Facebook of a subsequent incident on June 14 at Beach Access 4 North, she changed her mind and reported the crime.

In the June 14 incident, “three juvenile females reported seeing a nude, white male” who was touching his genitalia. The girls told the responding officer they were on the beach at Beach Access 4 North at approximately 2 p.m. when a white male who appeared to be nude from the waist down was seen sitting in the sand dunes about 30 yards away. The man then stood up, exposing himself to the girls and handling his penis. The report says the girls immediately left the beach and reported the incident.

The girls said they would be able to “positively identify the suspect.”

In a third incident reported on June 22, a woman said she was swimming in the area of the beach between 5th and 6th streets on the previous afternoon “when she saw a man enter the beach...and sit on the dunes. The suspect proceeded to masturbate.”

East 6th Street dead-ends at Beach Access 9 North.

The woman told the responding officer that she left the water to confront the man, who ran away. The woman followed, and told police he drove away in a “dark blue in color truck with grey fender walls.” The truck could be an older model Chevrolet from the late ‘80s or early ‘90s, according to the report. The victim described the man as a “large, heavy set, bald man, wearing black shorts, between the ages of 35 and 45.”

“We are working this very seriously and are soliciting help from those that might connect the person’s description with the vehicle,” Hurley wrote Tuesday.

pegdavis@fbnewsleader.com

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