Man arrested for groping 13-year-old girl in Venice grocery store, deputies say

Sarasota County

Sarasota Sheriff’s Office

VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) — A 45-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after deputies said he groped a 13-year-old girl in a grocery store.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said store surveillance video confirmed the child was in the check-out line when approached by Jeremiah Waters, a transient man living in a wooded area in Venice.

Waters started talking to her, then reportedly asked the girl’s age. After she told him she was 13 years old, Waters reportedly commented that she was too young for him.

Deputies said Waters then reached out and groped the girl’s chest. The teenager responded by pushing her shopping cart between she and the suspect before fleeing the store and running home where she told her parents.

Waters was later located by deputies on Jacaranda Boulevard. He was initially cooperative but reportedly fled while being detained by deputies. He was quickly caught and arrested.

Waters is facing a felony charge of lewd or lascivious conduct on a minor and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

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