Child uses camera to nab elderly flasher - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Child uses camera to nab elderly flasher

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November 24, 2007

Colquitt County -- Inside this Colquitt County mobile home on 715 Sardis Church Road lived an elderly man who neighbors say has a twisted hobby - exposing himself in public - in some cases, in front of children.

"That's like wrong. They're little. They don't know what it's about, ya know? He shouldn't have been doing that," says Carlos Castro.

Castro's young brothers and sisters live across the street from the yard where police say Manuel Hernandez Zavala, who will turn 77 years old in two weeks, exposed himself in front of children on Thanksgiving Day.

Police reports say he was standing in his yard with his pants around his ankles.

A 10-year-old girl, who will remain nameless because she is a juvenile, said she was outside with her young brothers and sisters when Zavala exposed himself. When asked if he had done this before, she said, "Like about 10 or 20 times."

According to police reports and even neighbors, Manuel Zavala was notorious for flashing others; exposing himself not only to children, but also to adults.

It took the work of a 10-year-old little girl, with this digital camera, to actually catch him in the act. That picture put him behind bars.

"The smart thing that I did was to hide behind the trees and just take pictures so we could have proof for the police," she said.

Enough proof to land Zavala in the Colquitt County Jail on several charges including child molestation, a crime that can carry up to a 25 year prison sentence.

Worried about the safety of her younger siblings, she is glad Zavala is no longer living nearby. She said, "It was an embarrassing thing to do. If I was that man, I would be so embarrassed."

The smart thinking of a young girl made sure this accused flasher, was taken down by the flash of a camera.

The case remains under investigation by the Colquitt County Sheriff's Office. Zavala remains in the Colquitt County Jail.

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