Man Arrested for Groping Children at Stores
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Florida man is behind bars after two separate incidents where children were groped. Surveillance video captured a man standing in the baby care aisle at a Publix grocery store. When a family with several children walked by, the man followed them. Police say he was taking cell phone pictures while he followed the family.
A police report about the incident says the man approached a 6-year-old and touched her bottom. When the girl turned around, the suspect reached for something in a bin and turned away.
The video also shows the suspect following the family to the bakery. Police records say the man asked the little girl if she still wore diapers.When the girl didn’t answer, the man lifted up his shirt and revealed something plastic on his stomach. He reportedly told the girl, “I still wear Pull-Ups, too.”
A similar incident happened two weeks earlier at a Wal-Mart. A 9-year-old girl was touched twice on the bottom by a man who is believed to be the same suspect. The suspect was lurking in the toy aisle when it happened.
Police arrested 28-year-old Jackie Lee Wheeler for both incidents. Wheeler’s father called the sheriff’s office to report his son’s pictures was on t-v.
Wheeler’s best friend says that he was in the Wal-Mart store but he isn’t the child groper.
“If you look at the video of him on Wal-Mart and the video of Publix, two totally different people, okay,” said Wheeler’s friend Wes Maxwell.
Police say the suspect in both surveillance videos has a tattoo on his forearm, similar facial hair and clothing.
Police say they’re confident it’s the same person in both videos. Wheeler was arrested and charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child.