Police arrest parking lot harassment suspect

After searching for weeks for a man who asked inappropriate questions to several women in multiple parking lots, committed lewd acts in public and tried to yank one woman out of her car in the Fresh Market parking lot, sheriff’s deputies apprehended a suspect early Monday.

Deputies booked Joshua Elias Fino, 19, 15659 Ferrell Ave., Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on counts of obscenity, video voyeurism, attempted simple kidnapping, simple battery and criminal trespassing, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

On March 31, a woman at Oakleigh Apartments, 11580 Perkins Road, called 911 after a man matching Fino’s description followed her around the parking lot, asking inappropriate questions, Hicks said.

A neighbor wrote down the license plate number of the vehicle the man left in and gave that license plate number to detectives.

Then on Sunday, a man who had made inappropriate comments to two teenage girls in the parking lot of LA Cheer Force on March 24 was spotted by staff back in the parking lot, Hicks said.

The man sped off in a black Volvo when the employee approached the car.

The employees recognized him as the same man from the prior incident, Hicks said.

At about 2:30 a.m. Monday, detectives tracked the vehicle to Fino’s residence using the license plate number from the Oakleigh Apartments incident and arrested him.

He admitted to approaching the woman at Oakleigh apartments and to committing lewd acts in public in that parking lot, as well as in the Cheer Force parking lot Sunday, and following and filming a woman in the Bally’s parking lot on March 27, Hicks said.

In that incident, the victim told police a Hispanic man matching Fino’s description filmed her in the parking lot, then walked up to her vehicle, asked her several inappropriate questions, tried to get in her vehicle and even tried to pull her out of the vehicle, Hicks said.

He also admitted to being in the Cheer Force parking lot several times in the past month, Hicks said.