A 30-year-old restaurant cook was described as “an extreme danger to the community” on Thursday when he made his first court appearance after allegedly exposing himself to at least two young girls in Coral Springs last month.
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Jorge Garcia, of Hallandale Beach, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition on a victim under the age of 16, according to court documents.
“You represent an extreme danger to the community,” said Broward Judge John ‘Jay” Hurley. “It does appear you are preying on young girls. It is not an isolated incident. You keep doing it.”
Hurley set what he called “a significant bond” of $500,000 on the lewd and lascivious charge before revoking previous bonds set following Garcia’s arrests for drug possession and other charges. That means Garcia is now not eligible to bond out of jail.
According to Coral Springs police, Garcia was driving a red 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck with a camper top when at about 4:30 p.m. on April 24 he spotted a 12-year-old girl sitting in a car outside a Coral Springs Walgreens at 11750 W. Sample Rd.
On a surveillance video, Garcia is seen walking past the girl in the car at least twice before he pulls up next to her in his truck, police said. He exposed himself and began masturbating, police said, while staring at the child.
“You allegedly pull up, expose yourself, and behave in a lewd manner in front of this 12-year-old girl who was sitting in a car waiting for her mother inside the store,” Hurley said. “She allegedly told the police what happened, got a description of your vehicle and you allegedly fled the scene.”
Six days later, at 11200 N.W. 26th St., a concerned citizen called 911 when a Chevrolet pickup with camper on top stopped just before 4:30 p.m. and the driver began talking to another girl, according to police.
“At the same time, a school bus passed the defendant’s stopped vehicle [and the] bus driver observed that you were exposing yourself to the girl,” Hurley said. The bus driver alerted the child by yelling “Stranger danger!” police said, and the child ran away.
The 911 caller followed Garcia, police said, and relayed the truck’s license plate number to police. The caller also watched Garcia approach two other children who ran away from his truck, authorities said.
Police located Garcia’s truck Friday at his Hallandale Beach residence. Police followed him to the Coral Springs restaurant where he works and photographed him. That photo was used Tuesday in a lineup in which the 12-year-old girl identified Garcia as the man she had seen in the parking lot.
Garcia has prior cases for petty theft, marijuana possession and attempted strong arm robbery in Miami-Dade County, according to information outlined in court.
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