The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

March 10, 2014

Registered sex offender arrested for indecent exposure

PRINCETON — A Tazewell County, Va., man who is registered as a sexual predator was arrested in Mercer County this weekend on indecent exposure, assault and obstruction charges, according to state police.

Lancaster Johnson Jr., 48, of North Tazewell, Va., was arrested Friday evening as he left the Walmart in Princeton, according to Senior Trooper L.F. Lee of the Princeton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police. He was charged with obstructing a police officer, assault and indecent exposure. Johnson appeared before a Mercer County magistrate on Saturday who set bond at $5,000. He is now being held in Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

“I received a call from the loss prevention officer at the Princeton Walmart soon after I came on duty Friday afternoon that they had observed a male subject exposing himself to two adult females,” Lee said. “After we made the arrest, I reviewed the surveillance video, and it did not appear that the adult females knew what he was doing.”

Lee said that the store loss prevention officer became aware of the subject as he was following a juvenile girl in the young ladies’ fashions department of the store.

“The loss prevention officer followed him, and when he realized he was being followed, Mr. Johnson threatened the loss prevention officer,” Lee said. “I arrived on scene and made the arrest just as he was coming out of the store.” Lee said that Johnson initially attempted to evade him, resulting in the obstruction charge. “The threat to the loss prevention officer led to the assault charge,” Lee said.

“I have contacted Virginia authorities about the vehicle he was operating to see if it is registered properly, but I haven’t heard back from them yet,” Lee said. “I think people need to be aware that these kinds of things can happen when they go into any store.”

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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