NEW PORT RICHEY — Gary Forro parked his car near the shore and was naked by the time he hit the water, authorities said.
It was about 7 p.m. Monday near Manor Beach Road and Edgewater Drive. Forro, a 58-year-old registered sex offender who has gotten in trouble for public nudity before, fondled himself while walking from his car to the gulf and then, again, after his swim, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
When a deputy arrived, Forro was arrested on drug charges and for failing to register as a sex offender. But he wasn't charged for lewd and lascivious behavior because it was "unclear if he meant for anybody to see him naked," said Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll.
Forro may have thought he was alone, as he stopped touching himself and covered up once he noticed there were other people using the public space: a man and a 13-year-old boy who were fishing, and a woman in her 60s, who called the authorities.
The deputy who responded found Forro hiding in the bushes, wearing shorts. The deputy went to get Forro's shoes and, in picking one up from the passenger seat of Forro's car, found a glass pipe with crystal meth inside, a report states.
Forro was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and failing to register as a sex offender. Forro had been convicted of two counts of indecent exposure in Oklahoma in 2000, which put him on the list, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
In September, Forro was arrested after allegedly swimming naked in a hotel pool at the Quality Inn & Suites in Brooksville, in front of an 11-year-old boy and his mother. He was charged then with lewd and lascivious behavior.
He had another charge of indecent exposure in Clearwater in 2006 and was convicted, according to FDLE. Other convictions have been for felony DUI, writing a worthless check, possession of controlled substances, driving with a suspended or revoked license and failing to comply with the sex offender registration rules.
Doll said the Sheriff's Office has referred the latest incident to the State Attorney's Office, to see if that agency wants to charge Forro for allegedly being nude and lewd in public. Forro, of 6957 Edgewater Drive in New Port Richey, had on shorts by the time he was arrested and he denied masturbating in front of the witnesses, Doll said. Forro is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $10,150 bail.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.