CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The man accused of exposing himself to children at bus stops across Charlotte is expected to appear in court in court Friday.
Over the last several weeks, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said there have been eight indecent exposure reports involving victims ranging from the age of 8 to 18.
On Thursday, police identified 37-year-old Eric Henderson as the suspect in two of those cases and took him into custody. They took out warrants charging him with misdemeanor indecent exposure, felony indecent exposure and indecent liberties with a child.
Police said Henderson is charged with two of the eight cases CMPD has received since February.
Channel 9 was there as Henderson was led into jail after he was interviewed by detectives.
Court records show he had been charged three times in the last two years with exposing himself to adult women. One of those cases was dismissed when prosecutors couldn’t find the victim, but Henderson pleaded guilty in another case less than two weeks ago.
Police said in at least six of the recent cases there has been a similar suspect and vehicle description.
A woman’s 8-year-old daughter was the youngest victim in the cases after the suspect approached her on Bent Tree Court.
“So, she says she turned around, he exited the car towards her and pulled his pants down and exposed himself to her. That’s when she ran away,” the girl's mother said. “She was screaming so loud that I didn't even recognize that was my daughter.”
Below is a break down of the cases:
- On Feb. 1 at 12:49 p.m., the victim told police a man exposed himself to her along McAllister Drive in north Charlotte. Police said, “the suspect advised her that she was good, and he was not going to harm her.”
- On Feb. 4 at 8:17 a.m., a 10-year-old girl said a man got out of his vehicle and exposed himself along Marble Street in northwest Charlotte.
- On March 26 at 2:03 p.m., a 17-year-old girl was sitting at a CATS bus stop on Carrowmore Place in west Charlotte when a vehicle backed up across from her. She said the man exited the car naked.
- On April 18 at 1:40 p.m., an 18-year-old girl said she was walking along Rumple Road in north Charlotte when a vehicle passed her and made a U-turn. The driver parked, got out and opened the vehicle’s trunk. As the teenager walked by, she said the man exposed himself.
- On April 22 at 4:08 p.m., a 14-year-old girl said she was waiting for her bus on North Pine Street at West 28th Street when a man parked his car, got out and exposed himself.
- On April 25 at 9:25 a.m., police said an 8-year-old girl was standing at the bus stop along Bent Tree Court in east Charlotte when a man came up and tried to start a conversation. The girl ignored him, and he drove away. Police said he pulled back up to her, stepped out of the vehicle and pulled down his pants.
- On May 2 at 12:08 p.m., a 13-year-old girl said she was at a bus stop at Autumn Ridge Drive and Cypress Pond Drive in north Charlotte when a man got out of his car and exposed himself.
- On May 2 at 2:47 p.m., a 15-year-old girl told police she was walking home from the bus stop on Barcliff Drive in east Charlotte when a man in a vehicle yelled at her. She said he got out of the car, exposed himself and offered the victim money to watch him.
Police said they’ve increased their presence around Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools bus stops, where many of the exposure cases have occurred.
Some descriptions were of a man in a black car with paper tags. In other cases, the suspect reportedly was driving a white car.
Nearly all of the victims described a man between 20 and 30 years old, possibly 40.
CMPD and CMS are sharing the following safety tips:
- Parents remind children to always be mindful of their surroundings
- Travel in groups to and from bus stops
- Children should never approach a vehicle
- Children should run for help immediately if anyone approaches them
- Report suspicious or inappropriate behavior by calling 911
A 15-year-old girl said she didn’t recognize the suspect who approached her on Barcliff Drive in east Charlotte.
“So, I ran home, and I told my aunt because I was really scared,” the girl said. “I didn't know what to do.”
CMPD sent out an alert that they were looking for Henderson Thursday morning, and by Thursday afternoon, he was taken into custody.
Police said they're continuing to investigate whether all of the indecent exposure cases are connected.
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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