MISHAWAKA — A 75-year-old Goshen man, a convicted sex offender, was arrested Thursday after police say he exposed himself to a child in the toy aisle of a local department store.
The alleged incident occurred about 4:20 p.m. at the Kmart at 420 W. McKinley Ave.
Upon arrival, Mishawaka police met with a store employee, who was standing out front with the suspect, Larry Hostetler.
The employee told police he detained Hostetler after viewing him on closed-circuit television acting suspiciously in the toy aisle. Specifically, it appeared Hostetler had briefly exposed himself to a young child, the employee told police.
Hostetler was placed in the back of a squad car. Though not asked, he admitted to being a sex offender, police said.
Police then spoke with the victim’s grandmother, who told police she did not see Hostetler expose himself, but witnessed him fumbling with his clothes and then reaching down to tie his shoe immediately following the alleged incident.
She told police it appeared Hostetler had been following her and her 3-year-old granddaughter from the time they entered the store.
The victim, meanwhile, when asked what had happened, told police the man “showed me his boy part,” police said. She then pointed to the groin area on a doll to indicate the area of the body Hostetler had exposed, police said.
Hostetler was arrested and booked into St. Joseph County Jail on suspicion of committing a sex offense against a child, police said.
Court records indicate Hostetler was previously convicted in Elkhart County in 2004 of vicarious sexual gratification and sentenced to three years in prison. He is registered as a sex offender in Elkhart County.