Thursday, April 19, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg man accused of exposing himself to kids at Kmart

KENNETH CITY — A registered sex offender was caught exposing himself to children at a Kmart, police said Tuesday.

Police arrested John Connaughton, 38, of St. Petersburg, on a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition. Officers were called to the store at 4501 66th St. N about 6 p.m. Monday after people there reported the incident.

Shoppers, including two young children, told authorities a man approached them, bent over, pulled his shorts up and reached inside his clothes to expose himself. At least one of the victims screamed.

The man fled the store before police arrived, but witnesses gave authorities a description.

A short time later, officers arrested Connaughton and witnesses identified him as the suspect, police said.

Public records show Connaughton, who has an extensive criminal record, was convicted in Marion County of lewd and lascivious exhibition in 2004. The victim was under the age of 16.

Connaughton remained in the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $20,000 bail.

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