LEESVILLE, La. - Some Vernon Parish residents used social media to help get a man who was allegedly exposing himself and performing lewd acts out in public get arrested. News Channel Five's Nolan Crane reports.
Belinda Wood trains in mixed martial arts so she can protect her family and she says on Tuesday, she saw something in her Leesville Wal-Mart parking lot, that made her nearly put those skills to the test.
"I went ahead and I was watching him out of the corner of my eye and noticed hand movements. I grabbed my phone and I recorded it. I knew that without that proof it was my word against his and I didn't want him to get away," says Belinda Wood.
Wood says she saw this man, 42-year-old Samuel Blackmon, sitting in his truck, engaging in lewd acts right in front of her, and her two young sons. She says she called police, and then snapped these pictures before he took off. She says she posted them online as a warning to others and as a way to track the suspect down.
"As of Thursday morning there was over three thousand shares of that picture. I spent the better part of Wednesday night and Thursday searching for this man, street by street here in Leesville," says Belinda Wood.
She wasn't the only one who was looking out for her community. Police say somebody else saw the suspect doing the same lewd act inside a Taco Bell in Leesville, right there in public. The person who snapped this photo and placed it online, says it is the same man, Samuel Blackmon.
The Leesville Police Department says somebody recognized the man in the pictures that wood and others posted. They arrested Blackmon, who they say is from Deridder.
"He was arrested for one count of obscenity and one count of indecent behavior with juveniles do to juveniles being in the presence of him performing these acts," says Landon Dowden.
Investigator Dowden says Belinda and other residents did a great job in helping them find Blackmon.
"It's great to have the public assist in contacting, locating, identifying these perpetrators," says Landon Dowden.
Belinda says she's glad she trusted her instincts to stand up against someone who would do such a thing.
"I was irate, I was mad. how dare somebody try to take the innocence of my children away from them by doing something so dirty and so disgusting and making them feel unsafe. I was hell bent from that moment on find this man," says Belinda Wood.
Investigators say the charges he faces in Leesville, might not be the only ones. He's also a suspect in additional cases by both Deridder police and the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office.
Blackmon is still in jail and bond has been set for 30-thousand dollars.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:55 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:55:04 GMT
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