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Lewd Incident at Library UPDATE

Posted May 13th, 2016

*** UPDATE ***

Based on tips that were received from the community, 22 year-old Adam Timothy Tharp (DOB 9-21-93, 606 32nd St., NW, Winter Haven) was identified and arrested in the case of the lewd exhibition at the Winter Haven Library. (See original release below)

Winter Haven Detectives received a tip from someone who claimed they worked with Tharp in 2015. The tip also stated that Tharp had been accused of similar acts in 2015. An additional tip came from a library worker at the Lakeland Public Library who stated they had video images of someone matching the description of Tharp at the library on the evening of May 11, 2016. The tip stated that staff from the Lakeland Library noticed the man (later identified as Tharp) lurking around the children’s area and acting suspicious. Staff approached Tharp and asked him to leave the children’s area. They also called Lakeland Police, but by the time officers arrived, he had already left the library. There is no report of Tharp exposing himself in the Lakeland incident; only acting suspicious. Images from the Lakeland Library show Tharp leaving the library, wearing the same style camouflage shirt as seen in the Winter Haven case.

The evening of 5-12-16, Winter Haven detectives located Tharp at his residence and took him into custody. During the interview, Tharp identified himself as the man in the images seen from the Winter Haven Library surveillance as well as those from the Lakeland Public Library. Tharp told detectives that he likes to go to the children’s section of libraries and read, “Goose Bumps” and look at children’s books because he identifies with children. He denied ever exposing himself.

Tharp was transported and booked into the Polk County Jail for Lewd/Lascivious Exhibition by Person >= 18 (F2). Due to the late hour of his arrest, Tharp will have first appearance tomorrow (5-14-16). Weekend first appearances begin at 8:30 a.m.