NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - A resident of DeLand was arrested in New Smyrna Beach this weekend for allegedly touching multiple children at the beach. 56-year-old John Edington has been in jail since Saturday, charged with two counts of lewd/lascivious molestation of a person under 12 years old.
Deputies with the Volusia Sheriff's Office were alerted to Edington's purported behavior when the VSO was called around 2:20 pm Saturday afternoon. They were informed that a man had made unsolicited contact with several people on the beach, two of which were girls ages eight and nine.
Police spoke to both victims of Edington's alleged activities and those who say they witnessed it. They gathered that Edington apparently approached the 9-year-old girl while her mother was swimming in the ocean and began rubbing his hands on her body. The mother came back to shore and confronted Edington. In a separate incident he is said to have touched the 8-year-old girl over the top and bottom portions of her bathing suit.
Edington's response when questioned by deputies was that he was "just a friendly guy", and he was said to be belligerent when pressed further. Deputies also noted he appeared to be intoxicated at the time he was spoken to. Data from the Volusia County Branch Jail's online portal show Edington has yet to be released from jail as of Monday afternoon, and each of his two charges carry $75,000 bond.