Lakeland man arrested for flashing minor in McDonald’s drive-thru

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Lakeland man was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office after flashing a juvenile working a McDonald’s drive-thru.

Charlie Lee Cook, Jr., 34, was charged with indecent exposure and committing a lewd act after he exposed himself to a juvenile working as a McDonald’s drive-thru cashier.

The incident reportedly happened in September, when Cook placed an order and went through the drive-thru line.

The sheriff’s office said Cook went through the line and paid for his food, received it, then came through the line again. Only, on his second trip through the drive-thru, he flashed the cashier, a juvenile, while calling the name he’d seen on her nametag.

The cashier closed the window and reported the incident to management, who called PCSO, but employees at McDonald’s were not able to identify him right away. However, they did “recognize him as a regular customer,” according to PCSO.

When Cook came back to the restaurant two weeks later, the sheriff’s office said employees recognized him as the potential suspect and took his name down from a debit card purchase, and got the tag number from his vehicle.

Cook was positively identified from the information provided by McDonald’s employees to PCSO. This is not the first time Cook has been in trouble with the law for crimes involving minors, according to the sheriff.

According to PCSO, Cook’s criminal history includes a 2014 arrest for battery domestic violence. He was arrested again in a 2017 undercover investigation for transmission of material harmful to a minor and use of a two-way communication device to commit a felony.

“We previously arrested Charlie Cook during an undercover child pornography investigation – he was sending nude images to a 15-year-old girl he met as a youth leader at a church,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “Now here he is again, trying to groom and solicit a child. He clearly wasn’t rehabilitated or held accountable back in 2017, but we will do everything in our power to ensure he is held accountable now.”

Cook was booked into the Polk County Jail on Nov. 30 on the two misdemeanor charges. He was released after posting a $750 bond.

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