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Palm Coast Thursday, Jun. 9, 2016 3 years ago

Man charged with exposing himself to teenage girls at Flagler Beach pier

James Tussing, 72, is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Two 15-year-old girls were at the Flagler Beach pier in the early morning hours of June 9 when a man followed them and then exposed his genitalia to them, the girls told police.

Flagler Beach Police Department officers were doing a security check of the pier around midnight when a group of males said a man had just exposed himself to two girls. One officer talked to the man, 72-year-old James Tussing, a transient, while another spoke with the two girls. 

The girls said they'd been rinsing off at the pier's open showers when the man followed them, saying he didn't have a ride home and asking if the girls needed a ride home. The girls told him they already had a ride and were ready to leave. 

But then the man rubbed his groin and pulled his genitalia out, saying to the girls, "Do you want some of this?" the girls told police officers, according to an officer's report. 

The girls said no and walked away, but the man followed them and "stated that he was just kidding," then asked them when their ride would arrive. The girls walked back toward the pier bathrooms and told their friends what happened. 

One of the girls "was extremely shaken by this event and showed physical signs of distress by crying and vomiting," an officer wrote in the report; the other girl said "advised she felt offended and disgusted."

The mother of one of the two girls — the girls were friends, and the mother had planned to pick up both of them that night — came to the pier immediately when police called, and said she wanted to press charges on behalf of both of the girls. Officers weren't able to reach the father of the second girl by phone. 

Tussing, talking to a police officer, said the girls had approached him to talk while he was waiting for a friend, and that he watched as they went to the ocean and returned. He then asked them what they were doing, and they told him they were going home, Tussing said.

Tussing "stated that he was aroused from the verbal contact" with the girls and said he had touched himself, although he denied exposing himself. But later, talking to another Flagler Beach officer, he "confessed exposing himself to the girls and asking the girls if they wanted some of this," according to the report.

Talking to police, Tussing tried to blame the victims, a police officer wrote. "Throughout the interview (Tussing) appeared to be blaming (the girls) for wearing bikinis at a late hour," the officer wrote. 

Officers arrested him and charged him with two counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition. He remained at the county jail the afternoon of June 9 on a combined $10,000 bond.

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