Knoxville (WATE) – A man is behind bars after reportedly exposing himself to children Thursday night at a Walmart on Kinzel Way.
Jose Javier Gomez-Colin was arrested and charged with indecent exposure, victim under 13, as well as criminal impersonation.
When officer’s arrived on the scene, witnesses told them that saw Gomez-Colin acting suspicious. They said he was walking around the store and would stop at an item look around. Witnesses said they thought he was going to steal from the store.
The witness continued to watch Gomez-Colin on the cameras in the store and noticed that he was actually following young children. On multiple occasions, Gomez-Colin was reportedly seen touching himself inappropriately and at one point exposed himself in the store.
“She told me that she seen that guy smirk at her and went straight to my sister. I don’t think it registered to her, hey auntie this guy is looking at me. Just looked at the strollers and went about.” said Ashton Templin, mother to a child targeted in the store.
Templin says her seven-year-old daughter was shopping with her sister, the child’s Aunt.
“They were looking at a stroller and a car seat for her newborn child she’s about to have. That’s the last thing that she’s about to think anyone being behind her, that there’s a man behind a clothes rack looking at my child,” said Templin.
Templin says her sister called immediately. KPD was already at the store by the time she arrived and Gomez-Colin was already in custody.
Now, she wants others to remember when they’re out with children.
“In my opinion, there’s nothing that you really can be prepared for completely. There’s always those freak accidents. There’s always going to be that creep that does whatever he wants to do.” said Templin.
“It’s scary cause they’re so innocent, you’re supposed to be there to protect them all the time and unfortunately we can’t sometimes.” said Jonathan Ford, the child’s father.
Gomez-Colin initially told officers his name was Jose Fuentes. When officers did a check of the name, no match was found. He was in possession of a California Drivers license with the name of “Jose Fuentes” and a check of the number on the license came back to a female born in 1993.
According to records, Gomez-Colin has an extensive criminal history and has been removed from the United States multiple times by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.)
Gomez-Colin was charged with indecent exposure and criminal impersonation.
He is now being held in the Roger D. Wilson Detention facility.