Crime

Update: Fort Benning soldier accused of public indecency at Cross Country Plaza

Ben Wright

benw@ledger-enquirer.com

Blakely Griffin
Blakely Griffin

Using video from a nearby store in Cross Country Plaza, Columbus police have linked a Fort Benning soldier to public indecency Friday on Macon Road.

 Blakely Patrick Griffin, 31, surrendered to authorities around 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Public Safety Center.  He was taken to the Muscogee County Jail where he was released on bond.

 A 27-year-old Columbus woman told police a man with no pants claimed he needed directions to Fort Benning before masterbating as she stepped near his car. She copied his tag number as he fled from the parking lot at 3150 Macon Road.

 During an investigation, police said the tag identified the vehicle as a white 2014 Ford Fusion. Video was found at Ross Dress For Less matching what the victim described to police.

 Griffin was identified as a soldier at Fort Benning where he lives. Police issued a warrant for his arrest before he surrendered to police.

 

Original story:

A man who claimed he needed directions to Fort Benning exposed himself to a Columbus woman in the parking lot at Cross Country Plaza Friday afternoon.

 The woman, 27, said she was near the Chuck E. Cheese in the 3200 block of Macon Road when a man in a white car asked for directions to the Army post around 5:55 p.m.

 “I walked over to point him to where to go and he was in front of Chuck E. Cheese performing a sex act in public,” she said.

 When asked to describe what the man was doing, the woman said he was partially nude from the waist down. “He was masturbating in the car, with no bottoms on at all,” she said.

 Standing nearly 6 feet tall, the woman said she could see the man as she stepped closer to the vehicle. She told police that she had the complete tag number and could describe the alleged sex offender who sped from the parking lot.

 Working as a graphic artist and specializing in portraits, the woman thought she had enough information to identify a suspect. Police didn’t recommend any further investigation into the public indecency incident, according to a report.

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