SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — As COVID-19 cases diminish, more public parks are opening up across Middle Tennessee.
That’s good news for people wanting to get out and recreate with their families, but it also can attract a criminal element.
According to Spring Hill Police, that was the case Father’s Day at Jerry Erwin Park, a Maury County Park inside the city limits of Spring Hill.
Two women called police around 3 p.m. and said they were walking on a path when a man, later identified as 58-year-old Ronnie J. Hollingsworth, exposed himself to them.
The women then ran away and called for help.
The women told police, when they ran, Hollingsworth ran in the opposite direction, across the street toward a thick wood line.
Body cam from Spring Hill Police Officer Rory Kennedy showed the anxious moments as officers went into thick woods looking for Hollingsworth.
Within minutes they found Hollingsworth shirtless, hiding in a remote section of woods.
The officer ordered him to surrender and put up his hands. “Stay where you are! Put your hands up!”
Hollingsworth repeatedly asked, “What did I do?”
During the arrest, the Chapel Hill man explained he ran from the women because when they acted afraid, he was afraid too.
Hollingsworth said to the arresting officer, “Because you all looked like you were after someone and I was scared”
Hollingsworth later told a Maury County Deputy that he did not expose himself and “He was only scratching his upper left thigh by placing his hand inside his pants due to an itchy rash.”
A check of Hollingsworth criminal history showed he’s been arrested for indecent exposure multiple times dating back to 2006.
Several arrests involve children.
Hollingsworth’s last sex crimes arrest was in 2015 after he was caught on the Greenway in Murfreesboro exposing himself. Victims in that case told police he was wearing a cowboy hat and cut-off jeans shorts at the time.
Det. Mike Foster of the Spring Hill Police Department said, “Obviously he has an issue with this kind of thing. Hopefully he can get the help he needs and stop this behavior. It is absolutely not appropriate to be doing.”
Ronnie Hollingsworth was charged with indecent exposure in this latest arrest. Jail records indicated he posted a $1,500 dollar bond and is out of jail.
Despite multiple arrests for indecent exposure, Hollingsworth doesn’t show up on the TBI sex offender registry.
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