ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — A local mother said she felt violated when a shirtless man was seen taking pictures of her and her 11-month-old daughter at a gas station in St. Augustine.
The woman posted a video of the incident to social media, showing her confronting the man at Sunco service station on U.S. 1 North in St. Augustine. She claims she was pumping gas while holding her daughter and saw the flash from the man’s camera pointing at them. On the video, it appears he also filled up his car and left after the confrontation.
Action News Jax spoke to the mother, who asked to remain anonymous. She said she is reaching out to local law enforcement for further assistance.
She posted the encounter on social media Friday, which now has more than 3,300 shares. In the post, she said in part, “My heart dropped I Stop pumping my gas!” and “Everything ran in my head at that moment!”
“I’m appalled at that, especially given the nature of people these days. You can never really be too careful,” neighbor Gary Fox said.
Although police described it as “concerning,” they said it is not illegal to take pictures of another person in a public setting.
The St. Augustine Police Department responded to the incident. The information report states that the officer located the man in the video by his license plate. He ran the driver’s criminal history but “nothing of significance was found.”
“Because we don’t know what motivates them, these people can be harmless, as apparently in this case, or they can be extremely dangerous,” Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson said.
The information report said this man did not commit a crime. But police told Action News Jax they will continue to monitor the situation.
“I see his behavior as somewhat off-putting and it would certainly be alarming,” Carson said. “But again, confronting people who are unknown to you with a camera and engaging them in conversation should be discouraged.”
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