VENICE — An elderly man was arrested for alleged lewd behavior in front of someone under 16 years old and indecent exposure, according to authorities.
Elvo Tornincasa, 89, of Nokomis, has multiple prior arrests for indecent exposure and sex offenses in Sarasota County going back to 2014, according to records.
He has been arrested six times in seven years on indecent exposure-type offenses.
However, in most of the previous cases, the courts found he was incompetent to stand trial, according to records.
According to the Venice Police Department, Tornincasa has a prior child molestation charge out of Lake County, Indiana.
Tornincasa is now facing charges of lewd behavior in the presence of a victim under 16 years old and two counts of indecent exposure, police said.
In the latest incident, Tornincasa allegedly followed a family around the Publix on the 500 block of Tamiami Trail in Venice.
The mother was shopping with her two young girls, ages 6 and 8, when she noticed Tornincasa was following them with his pants undone and exposed, according to the incident report.
The mother was the only witness the alleged crime and went to the front of the store for help, the report states.
The police acquired video evidence from Publix that showed Tornincasa spotting the family by the deli, then following them up and down the aisles “repeatedly grabbing his penis and genital area,” according to the report.
When confronted by authorities, he zipped up his shorts. He blamed his clothing that day.
“If I had pants on, I wouldn’t have this problem but with these shorts the barn door opens,” he told Venice investigators.
The report noted that at no time during the officers interactions with Tornincasa did a wardrobe malfunction occur.
He told investigators he was a Navy veteran and his wife had died years prior. He said he was shopping at Publix, but the video does not indicate he picked up any items from any shelf. When confronted with his other arrests involving exposing himself in front of children at the North Jetty, he refused to speak anymore — although he’d later discussed his love for his dog and told officers adult-oriented jokes.
The dog was found in a car in the parking lot and Sarasota County Animal Control took custody of it.
Once at the Venice Police Department, Tornincasa discussed the appearance of a female officer.
“While there the suspect continued to make the above conversations and appeared to be in full mental capacity when speaking with the officers,” the police report states. “The only time the suspect would stop talking for moments at a time would be when prior questions about his other listed sexual offenses were asked.”
Tornincasa is currently in custody. His bond was set at $60,000. His arraignment date is May 7.