ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
56°
Mostly Sunny
H 68° L 49°
  • clear-night
    56°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Sunny. H 68° L 49°
  • clear-day
    70°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Sunny. H 68° L 49°
  • cloudy-day
    65°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 73° L 54°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Man accused of groping swimmers at Florida resort says it was 'misunderstanding'
Close

Man accused of groping swimmers at Florida resort says it was 'misunderstanding'

Man accused of groping swimmers at Florida resort says it was 'misunderstanding'

Man accused of groping swimmers at Florida resort says it was 'misunderstanding'

A man who was arrested and is accused of inappropriately touching multiple people in the wave pool at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon bonded out of jail Monday night.

Perry Stiles, 54, was arrested Sunday on charges of battery and lewd molestation after he allegedly groped four people, including a child, at the park.

Styles talked about the charges after he bonded out of the Orange County jail.

"Nobody made me aware that they felt violated in the waves. I didn't know that until afterwards. I don't know who my accusers are," Stiles said.

 An arrest report said the victims told investigators they "felt someone grab the underside of our butts," and one of the victims said it felt like it was an "opened-handed grab and squeeze."

Many tourists told Eyewitness News they were surprised to learn of Stiles' arrest at the water park.

"That's the last thing on your mind, but it could happen anywhere," visitor Gary Kurczy said.

According to the report, witnesses said the man did not appear to lose his balance and had plenty of room to get around the people without touching them.

"Children are by the pool themselves, it's a perfect opportunity," another visitor, Lynn Taylor, said.

Investigators said deputies escorted Stiles, who is from Kissimmee, to a trailer on Typhoon Lagoon property for questioning.

"It upsets me to think that there would be child predators in a place like Disney World or Wet 'n Wild or Universal Studios," Kurczy said. "You would think that an environment would be safe like that for your child."

Stiles said it was a misunderstanding in the midst of a crashing wave.

"Bodies fly in a 10-foot wave. Anything I did was accidental and unintentional and I'm unaware of what I've done," he said.

Although Stiles is not a registered sex offender, several tourists said they wanted to know if Disney checks if park visitors are in the national sex offender database.

Eyewitness News reached out to Disney officials, who said they can't publicly discuss the park's security measures.

In 2013, 9 Investigates found out Disney had issued trespass warnings to 75 people in about six months who were all on sex offender registries.

Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • Phoenix teenager Jamal Hinton and grandmother Wanda Hence have turned their internet fame from 2016 into a tradition. >> Read more trending news Last year, Hence thought she was texting her grandson to invite him to dinner in a group text, but she was actually texting Jamal Hinton, 17. Hinton asked who was texting him and was told it was his grandmother. “I really thought it was my grandma, so I had to ask for a picture to make sure,” Hinton told BuzzFeed. The result was a selfie exchange from Hence to which Hinton replied, 'You're not my grandma!' But Hinton asked if he could still get a plate of food despite the mistake. Hence replied, “Of course you can. That's what grandmas do ... feed everyone.' KNXV reported that Hinton joined Hence’s family for dinner and is now her 'honorary grandson.' When Hinton arrived and shook Hence’s hand, the two soon embraced for a hug. 'I'd never seen her before and she welcomed me into her home,' Hinton told KNXV. 'That shows me how great of a person she is. I'm thankful for people like that.' 'He always has an open invite to our house for Thanksgiving,' Hence told WVEC Friday.   
  • Heads up, St. Johns County residents. The county says the St. Augustine Beach Pope Road beach access point will be closed beginning, Monday, November 27th, due to an Army Corps of Engineers beach renourishment project.  That project is expected to last through spring 2018, with the Pope Road beach access point remaining closed that entire time.  The county say the renourishment will help critically-eroded areas between Anastasia State Park and 8th Street in St. Augustine Beach.  The beach will remain open outside of work areas, but you're urged to use caution in the area.  For more information, click HERE.
  • It's a tragic update in the days-long search to find a missing 15-year-old and his grandmother.  The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announcing Friday afternoon they do believe foul play was involved, as they've recovered what they believe to be the body of 53-year-old Kristina French in the backyard of a Neptune Beach home connected to the two.  'The burial site was excavated today and human remains were located. They appear consistent with the description of Kristina French, but there will be no positive identification until the autopsy is completed by the medical examiner,' says JSO's Director of Investigations, Ron Lendvay.  At this point, JSO says 15-year-old Logan Mott is still missing, as is the silver Dodge Dart. Police say they do believe Mott is alive and in that vehicle.  'We have video surveillance of an individual we believe to be Logan Mott, with what we believe to be the car that's missing in this case, in south central Pennsylvania yesterday at 1:15 pm,' says Lendvay.  JSO says they're in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for Mott for auto theft. He's also considered a person of interest in connection to the death of the person found in the backyard of the home on Seagate Avenue.  Police say Mott may also be in possession of firearms, as guns had been reported missing from that home, so if you do see him, you’re urged to call 911.
  • UPDATE Friday morning:  Logan Mott’s mother has posted a heartfelt message on Facebook, pleading for a safe return of her 15-year-old son and his grandmother, Kristina French.  UPDATE 11/23/17 5:40 PM: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says there’s no new information to release. ORIGINAL STORY: A missing child alert has been issued for 15-year-old Logan Mott out of Neptune Beach.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Jacksonville Police believe Logan is in the company of his grandmother, 53-year-old Kristina French.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says firearms are missing from a home they are associated with. Our partners at Action News Jax spoke with Logan’s mother who says the home that had the firearms looked like it had been ransacked.  The two are believed to traveling in a 2015 silver Dodge Dart with Florida tag D-L-L-T-4-2.  JSO says with the firearms missing, you should not approach them if you see them. You are asked to call 911. This is a developing story, check back for more updates. 
  • They believe he was hit by a car Thanksgiving night and left to die. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after a man's body was found in a ditch along Bowden Road on the Southside, early Friday morning.  At this time, JSO hasn't released his identity, but they say the man was in his 40's.  Police say they don't know of any witnesses. There's also no suspect information at this point.

The Latest News Videos