STUART, Fla. — A photo shows a man living in one north Stuart neighborhood washing a car in his front yard while completely naked.
Some people who live nearby say they have called to report the behavior to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office but the man continues to perform yard work exposed.
“Walks around outside, he don’t care. He stands on his back porch,” said neighbor Charlie Estes.
Estes said this has gone on for several years. His 12-year-old grandson’s bus stop faces the man's house and he worries about what the neighborhood children are exposed to every day.
“As the way the law is worded now it’s legal for a man to walk around in his yard buck naked,” said Estes.
However, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said after talking to the chief assistant state attorney on Wednesday they believe there are enough elements to charge the man if he continues with the behavior.
“Two different statutes have been met with that behavior; one being lewd and lascivious behavior, the other being breach of the peace,” said Martin County Sheriff William Synder.
The sheriff’s office said they intend to take statements from all the neighbors before moving forward.
Meanwhile, there’s another group of neighbors who feel the man is being shown in the wrong light.
“Literally they are the nicest people you’ll ever meet they would give you their clothes if they had them on to give them to you,” said neighbor Aimee Canterbury.
Canterbury has six kids and said she’s just taught her kids to look the other way when walking past their home if anyone is outside and naked.
“They aren’t like walking around the lake, or up and down the street without no clothing, or up in your yard,” said Canterbury.
She went on to say they recently attended a neighborhood birthday party and rather than wearing their birthday suits, the couple instead was fully clothed.
“They have that much respect that they aren’t taking it off their property, so I figure they can do whatever they want to do on their land,” said Canterbury.
Yet those who feel the behavior is inappropriate said it’s negatively affected the atmosphere in the neighborhood.
“This empty field, it’s a dry retention pond and has been used for playing football and baseball in. The kids can’t do that anymore because their mothers don’t want them to see this naked man walking around the deck while they are trying to play football,” said Estes.
The Martin County Sheriff's Office said based on the statute and case law if the man in question is in his fenced area in his backyard, he’s allowed to do so nakedly or clothed. However, once someone has come out, like he and his wife has, completely nude in the front yard then they’ve crossed the statutory line and will be subject to arrest.