A man was standing in his doorway behind a screened-in porch with nothing on and completely exposed. Someone walking the dog in Cape Coral saw it and called the police.
That raised the question; if you’re in your own house, how naked can you be without getting a visit from the cops?
WINK News asked Attorney Scot Goldberg, managing partner at Goldberg Noone Abraham, where you can legally be naked on your own property. He said it’s a problem if you’re outside in the nude. There aren’t legal protections if you’re naked on your roof, but under your roof, that’s a different story.
Goldberg says the State Attorney’s Office will determine if this was a one-time mistake or if there’s a pattern here.
Neighbors are conflicted, saying they can see both sides.
“I know my wife wouldn’t appreciate it,” said Kevin P.
Wednesday morning, just after ten, a report from Cape Coral police says a neighbor out walking their dog spotted a heavy-set man in his 50s, hands on his hips, completely naked.
“My neighbors have kids and grandkids, and I see kids walking down the road all the time,” said Kevin P.
The dog-walker told police the guy turned and faced them as they walked by his house, and they felt like he was deliberately displaying his genitals.
“I think everybody should just reserve judgment for now. I mean, out there was a pattern then, yeah, something’s gotta happen, but I haven’t had any patterns,” said Michael Sweet.
Sweet says the guy in question is his neighbor, and he spoke with him about what happened. “I heard that my neighbor was taking a shower. He forgot [he] had the door open. So he went to go close it. He saw someone like standing at the corner of that street looking straight at his property, like, froze for a second.”
The man told police he was standing naked in the doorway of his home behind his screened-in porch, frozen with embarrassment after seeing his neighbor. He says he stood there for 10 seconds.
“It’s always going to be different if you’re outside of your home. The question is, is when you’re into screened-in area that has a clear view to the street or clear view to your neighbors, and you know that they can see you,” said Goldberg.
Goldberg says this is a gray area, and prosecutors will have to determine if this is a one-time mistake or a pattern. “I think it could be a hard one to prosecute. But I also think if there’s a history there, I think the state attorney would rather lose a trial with six jurors than lose with the loss of the innocence of a victim down the line.”
Two people told police they had seen the man in revealing clothing before, including a ‘thong swimsuit.’
“Maybe the guy just wasn’t thinking properly. But if it’s a continual thing, and you get more complaints, I would definitely say that there is a problem there,” Kevin P. said.
After investigating, police say the man violated Florida statute and exposed his sex organs, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Neighbors said they wonder if this could be a cultural issue where the man is from a region where nudity is looked at differently.