VENICE, Fla. - Pictures of a potential serial flasher in Venice are going viral to a certain extent on the Suncoast. Police are now looking for a man they say is exposing and touching himself in front of strangers there. And in one case, he even left a note.
Frankie Abbruzzino runs a community Facebook page called the Venice Scoop. He was recently contacted about a man exposing himself to two young girls at a Venice beach. "This individual found the page and contacted me and said ‘hey, I ran into this issue’."
One of the victims says the man ran off after she snapped a picture. We've elected to crop most of it, but the man appears to be performing inappropriate actions on himself. Another photo shows a letter a victim says the man left soliciting help in his actions in return for money.
The Venice Police Department is now on the case. "They contacted me this morning and asked what kind of communications and pictures I had; anything that could help. They said they are actively looking for the individual," says Abbruzzino.
Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty confirms this is the man they would like to question about the incident. In fact, the chief says they're working three other cases just like it in just the past few days. "Beginning on Saturday we have had four cases where a white male has exposed himself near the beach area."
Two of them were near the fishing pier 10 hours apart. Then a third near the Old Venice Pub, and a fourth on Monday back on the beach near the pier. We've also learned about a fifth incident reported near Caspersen Beach, which is an area known for certain activities.
What's really new, says the chief, is that note. "I can't remember where somebody has done this and left a note. I have worked sex crimes here for many years as a detective. It's a new variation."
From the photo, police believe they are looking for a white male in his 30's or 40's. Victims say he's around 5'7, 170 pounds with a tattoo on his right upper arm.
They are hopeful some extra eyes out there will help. "Social media is great. It can hurt you or it can help you. In this case it can only help," says Chief McNulty.
If you have any additional information or recognize the man in the photo, you are urged to call the Venice Police Department.