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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Courtney Ewing arrived to her local Walmart on Tuesday for a routine shopping trip, never expecting to have a disturbing experience when a stranger exposed himself to her.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, it was the second incident of its kind at the Kernan Village Walmart on Atlantic Boulevard in the past month. It's not clear if it's the same perpetrator in both cases.
Ewing got out of her car, preparing to go shopping. She noticed a man nearby who was smoking a cigarette but thought nothing of it, assuming he was a worker at one of the nearby stores. He walked into the store shortly after she did.
The mother of two began to wander through the store, checking out the frozen section before throwing some diapers in the cart for her youngest. Ewing noticed a clearance rack in the children's clothing section. She thought she might find something for her older daughter, who is about to start 3rd grade.
That's when she noticed the man she saw smoking outside was now standing next to her in the kid's section.
She initially tried to ignore him, as she did not want him to feel uncomfortable, but eventually looked at him because of the amount of time he'd been standing there.
The man had his pants down and was masturbating, Ewing said.
She asked him "What the hell are you doing?" which prompted him to run out of the store.
Ewing briefly explained what had happened to a nearby mother and her children, urging her to watch out. Then she called the police.
Ewing described the man as thin, in his mid-to late 20's with brown curly hair and an unshaven face, according to a JSO incident report. She estimated he is between 5'7 and 5'10, weighing 150-170 pounds. He was wearing red shorts and a black shirt at the time of the incident.
After reporting the incident, Ewing met up with her husband and they followed the man in their car. She continued calling police to keep them updated on their whereabouts, she said.
Ewing shared a video with First Coast News showing them pull up alongside the man, and rolling down the window to yell, "Hey pervert!".
Her husband attempted to chase him on foot, but the suspect ran into the woods.
Officers searched the wooded area in the 12250 block of Atlantic Boulevard in front of the Timberwood Trace apartment complex, the police report said, but were unable to find him.
"It should be noted there was a similar incident at this same Walmart, possibly involving the same suspect." the police report said.
The report from that incident says that on June 30 around 10:15 a.m., a shopper noticed a man walking slowly behind her down the aisle of the store. She turned around to see he had pulled his penis through his zipper and was exposing himself, the victim told police.
The suspect was described to be pale with a medium build with bushy hair and a beard. The victims estimated his age as between 23 and 33, wearing a black shirt and dark pants.
The case was suspended as the man was not identified, according to the JSO report.
Ewing told First Coast News she felt "targeted" by the man. "He followed me," she said. "My anxiety was through the roof...I am just sick to my stomach."
The suspects in both incidents remain unidentified.
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