A man accused of recently exposing himself to three women in downtown Columbus told police that it wasn’t his private parts but his fingers that the victims saw.
Nicholas Oz Thompson, 25, was charged with three counts of public indecency and is being held in the Muscogee County Jail. Recorder’s Court Judge Julius Hunter set Thompson’s bonds at a total of $7,500.
Columbus Police Det. Mark Scruggs told the court that information from a witness led police to Thompson, who was interviewed and then arrested on the three misdemeanor charges. Thompson admitted to being in the downtown area at the times the three different victims described the offenses, Scruggs said.
“He said he placed his hand down his pants and placed two fingers out the opening as a way to pick up women,” Scruggs told the court.
Never miss a local story.
All three victims appeared in court, but did not testify other than to state their names prior to Hunter setting the bond. Thompson, represented by public defender Owen P. Lynch, did not speak in his defense.
The events that led to Thompson’s arrest started Saturday night.
A Columbus woman reported to police and on social media that a man exposed himself to her in the Historic District about 7 p.m., which prompted at least two more similar complaints.
The woman told police she was walking her dog along Broadway near Heritage Park when a white male driving an older mid-sized black vehicle stopped her and asked for directions. He had blue eyes and blonde hair and appeared to be in his early 30s, the woman told police.
As the woman got close enough to the vehicle to give the man directions, he exposed himself and made a vulgar comment, Scruggs testified. She then ran from the vehicle and called 911.
The incident was reported on several social media pages, including the Historic District Neighborhood Watch page. Another woman responded that a man exposed himself to her on July 25 while she was working at a downtown business walk-up window on 12th Street.
The second woman did not file a police report until Sunday, a day after the reported incident in the Historic District. She described the man as a white male, according to the police report.
A third incident was reported at 6:45 p.m. Sunday when a Historic District resident noticed a vehicle that matched the social media description of the car involved in the Saturday night incident. The black Mitsubishi was being driven by a white male, the neighbor told police.
The neighbor followed the vehicle to Front Avenue where it stopped, according to the police report. The neighbor watched as a female walked past the vehicle and the man in the car got the attention of the woman walking, according to the report.
The man exposed himself to the woman, the witness told police and Scruggs told the court.
The tag number of the black Mitsubishi provided by the witness led police to Thompson, Scruggs told the court. The vehicle was registered to another person, but that man was in the process of selling the vehicle to Thompson, Scruggs told the court.
Thompson “was the only one who has had possession of the vehicle the last two weeks,” Scruggs testified.