New Year’s morning started just like any other for four women in Citrus County, but quickly turned terrifying after they say a man approached them and exposed himself.
The 911 calls started coming in around 6 a.m. Citrus County Sheriff’s deputies identified four different women who were stalked by a serial flasher.
A victim identified Patrick Ryan, 20, as the man who was following women through the neighborhood and touching himself in front of them.
“I saw this young man with his pants down and he was walking away from me, but he was staring at me. He proceeded to rub himself while all the while staring at me,” said one victim, who did not want to be identified. “He did see me and he smiled, and that chilled me that he would do that.”
Investigators said Ryan was even so bold as to knock on one woman’s door and touch himself inappropriately when the homeowner’s daughter answered. Another victim told ABC Action News she could tell Ryan was following her, so she ran to a neighbor’s porch and hid while calling 911.
“For the older ladies, they are very fragile,” the witness said. “I was frightened, and I felt pretty isolated. It was an uncomfortable feeling. It was something that I don't want to have to go through again.”
Ryan was charged with felony lewd and lascivious exhibition and loitering/prowling. Ryan posted bond and is out of jail.
The witness ABC Action News interviewed said she worries he will come back.
“I don't know what's in his mind, 'cause he was very strange [in] his actions,” she said. “It was evil... He was preying on women, and it was evil of him to do that.”
Despite living in the quiet Meadowcrest neighborhood community, residents said they will walk with mace and take steps to protect themselves in the future.