His 12-year-old alleged victim whispered 'Help me' to a witness who called police

His 12-year-old alleged victim whispered ‘Help me’ to a witness who called police

(As originally published with bells and whistles, Wed, July 13th 2022, 4:00 AM EDT)

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — A man who police say “‘touched’ a 12-year-old neighbor inappropriately and in a ‘sexual nature'” has not been able to bail out of jail after nearly two months.

That’s not because his alleged victim resorted to asking another man she’d never met for help.

It was the 30-year-old’s second arrest in a month and it ended with him being Tasered for holding tight onto his father to avoid being taken away.

Riviera Beach police said the case started with a detective investigating a “lewd and lascivious molestation.”

According to the arrest report, the alleged incident happened on May 18.

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The detective wrote about meeting a witness who said he saw a man “obstructing the movement of a [girl] in a manner which prevented her movement. The unidentified [man] was observed by [the witness] blocking the movement of the female and then following the movement of the female in an attempt to gain her attention. In doing so, the female began walking in the direction of [the witness] at which time [the witness] observed the female whispered, ‘help me.’ At this time, [the witness] observed the unidentified [man] grabbed the female’s ‘buttocks’ in a sexual matter.”

Then, the detective met with the witness’ 11-year-old son who “stated while playing outside with his friends, [the son] observed the unidentified [man] loitering in the area. While ordering in the area, [the son] stated that he observed the [man] ‘bothering/annoying’ the victim in which the victim attempted to walk away. In doing so, the victim was observed by [the son] near his residence, at which time the unidentified [man] grabbed a ‘fist’ full of her buttocks. In doing so, [the son] heard his father inquiring if the victim was OK.”

His 12-year-old alleged victim whispered 'Help me' to a witness who called police
Willie Smith IV on April 29 and May 19, 2022. (Palm Beach Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Finally, the detective interviewed the 12-year-old victim who “stated that she was in the area with friends inquiring about a debt she was collecting that she owes her mother. [The victim] was approached by the unidentified [man] for unknown reasons. [The victim stated that the [man] inquired if she ‘needed the money.’ In doing so, the unidentified [man] groped and touched the person of [victim’s name] in a manner in which she deemed sexual. [The victim] stated that the unidentified [man] grabbed her buttocks and ‘squeezed’ in a matter in which she believed was sexual in nature. [The victim] stated that based on this ‘unwanted sexual touch’ she began to retreat in order to inform someone of the incident.

“[The victim] stated that while attempting to leave the scene, she observed the fact that the unidentified [man] was following her. At this time, [the victim] mouthed the words ‘help me’ which [the witness] heard. At this time, [the witness] inquired if [the victim] was ‘OK’ which she indicated no. Based on this observation, [the victim] told other neighbors that [the victim] was ‘inappropriate touched.’”

The detective identified the suspect as Willie J. Smith IV but arresting him wasn’t easy and led to a second criminal charge. It happened before the detective even got to the scene.

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According to the arrest report, Smith was at the scene with his parents and the acting captain told an officer to move his patrol vehicle closer for the arrest.

Then, “Officers attempted to handcuff and arrest Smith IV according to [the captain]’s cues and directives; Smith quickly ran from officers, taking cover behind his father. As officers grabbed hold of Smith IV, he refused to be handcuffed. Instead, Smith IV gripped onto his father, refusing to let go. Multiple officers had the physical restrain him to separate Smith IV from his father.

“As members of the Riviera Beach Police Department attempted to handcuff Smith IV, he actively resisted by pulling away and stiffening up his arms. Eventually, Smith IV was handcuffed. However, as Smith IV was being escorted to a patrol vehicle, he continued actively resisting by pulling away and refusing to get into the car. Additionally, Smith IV refused lawful verbal commands from multiple officers to get inside of the vehicle and stop fighting officers.

“Smith IV used his legs as support, preventing officers from putting him inside the vehicle. As Smith IV continued to scuffle with officers, he grabbed [an officer]’s department-issued baton and pulled it out of the holster. As a result of taking [the officer]’s weapon and continuing to resist actively, [the officer] drew his department-issued Taser to gain compliance from Smith IV. Smith IV refused to comply and [the officer] deployed his Taser once, dry stunning Smith IV. Even after being dry-stunned, Smith IV struggled with officers physically and had to be forced into the police vehicle. It should be noted that it took the assistance of numerous officers to subdue and handcuff Smith IV.”

Smith was charged with resisting an officer with violence.

Then, the arrest report said, “Smith IV stated the reason he was under arrest, because he touched a girl ‘inappropriately.’ When asked what does that mean, Smith IV stated that he grabbed a girl’s buttocks with his right hand. [The detective] asked Smith IV why he did that. Smith IV stated he doesn’t know why he did it; he just did. Smith IV stated he did not know the girl.”

Smith was charged with lewd or lascivious molestation.

He was booked into Palm Beach County’s Main Detention Center on May 19 at 12:43 a.m. and not offered bond.

At the time, he was already in trouble for an incident at the Walmart on Military Trail in Delray Beach.

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The arrest report from April 29 said a Delray Beach police officer “was notified of a suspicious subject in the electronics area. Upon watching the subject, he observed Smith utilizing a pocketknife to break open the anti-theft device used to secure Polaroid cameras to the shelf. He observed Smith take two cameras valued at $119 each off the peg. Smith then walked to the front of the store to customer service and attempted to return both cameras, asking for store credit. [The officer] stated the return was denied and they kept the merchandise, which had been cut open. Smith then went back and got another Polaroid camera and removed it from the packaging as he walked out of the grocery part of the store. Smith then discarded the items and walked out of the store.”

Police said they showed up when “the loss prevention protection officer for Walmart was right behind Smith out and pointed to him in order to identify him. Upon being taken into custody, Smith spontaneously uttered ‘I left it in the store.’ Search incident to arrest, I located two red bags in Smith’s pockets labeled ‘Polaroid’ still in clear plastic wrap. When asked where he found the bags, Smith stated from the cameras. Smith also stated he hadn’t slept in 3 days which was probably what made him do it. Smith was in possession of two pocketknives and additional items that still had packaging on them.”

In this incident, Smith was charged with use of or possessing an anti-shoplifting control device, and petit theft.

For that, he was booked on April 29 at 4:29 p.m. and released in lieu of $3,000 on May 2 at 9:41 p.m.

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