Springfield, Virginia resident Eric Williamson was arrested and
charged with indecent exposure yesterday for failing to put
on any clothes after getting up at 5:30 am to make some coffee. A
woman and her 7-year-old daughter had cut across Williamson's
front yard and saw him through his kitchen window.
If convicted, Williamson could be fined $2,000 and spend a year
in jail. Fairfax police say Williamson wanted to be seen naked. Which I
guess means Williamson's front yard is a pretty popular spot at
5:30 in the morning.
The woman who called the police says the time of
the incident was 8:40 am, not 5:30 am as Williamson says. She
also says Williamson was first standing in an open doorway, then
moved in front of a window, still in her view. Given that she was
apparently on his property (that part of the story hasn't yet
been disputed), and he was in his home the entire time, I'm not
sure his exact position in his own home matters, unless he was
otherwise in plain view of someone using the public sidewalk.
Even then, it seems more like tacky behavior than behavior that
should be criminal. And you'd think the guy would get a warning
before you arrest him for nudity in his own house. Williamson
told Fox News today (auto video play and browser resize
warning) that after the report, 5-6 police officers came into his
home unannounced, entered his bedroom, and arrested him.
The guy does seem strange. A roommate says he was acting oddly,
walking around all morning wearing nothing but a construction
hat. But again, strange behavior needn't be a crime punishable by
a year in jail (if the roommate had reported unwanted nudity,
that might be a different matter). Seems like a sensible policy
would be that once you walk into someone's yard and look inside
their home, you can't claim to be victimized by what you might
I'm sure more will come out in the coming days. In the meantime,
enjoy the weird
"random naked torso" graphic D.C.'s NBC affiliiate chose to
run with the story.