After responding to a complaint of a man following juveniles in the Lovejoy Road area, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office charged the suspicious individual with loitering and prowling. 67-year old Donald Anderson of Warner Robins Georgia told an OCSO deputy he has been staying at the Rocky Bayou State Park outside Niceville but “enjoys” driving in low income areas to look at people.
A deputy was called to Poplar Street yesterday morning by a 15-year old girl who said she had seen a man riding repeatedly through the area in a red Chevrolet Astro van since early January. She said he was offering other children cookies and candy, however on this day she noticed he was following her so she snapped a photo of his license plate.
While the deputy was on scene, a 16-year old girl arrived and said on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the same man followed her and a friend, offering them cookies and candy. She also stated she saw him talking with other children between the ages of six and ten.
While taking the statements, the deputy spotted Anderson in his red van driving his direction and made contact.
Anderson claimed he was trying to take a shortcut through the area to go to Santa Rosa Mall and had only been in the area once. After learning there was a photo of him there earlier that same day, Anderson said he may have been there earlier, and three or four times in the last month. He said he is a people watcher and only drives around looking at people.
The OCSO deputy arrested Anderson after determining he was prowling in a place and in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals, under circumstances that warrant a reasonable alarm for the safety of children.