A convicted sex offender with a history of exposing himself to children was arrested Thursday on charges that he stalked three teenage girls as they walked home from an east Johnson City community youth center.
Ronald Kevin Watson, 35, 138 Paddle Creek Road, No. 1, was charged with three counts of aggravated stalking stemming from a series of incidents that took place April 14, according to a court record.
Police said Watson drove past the girls — ages 14, 15, and 16 — as they walked from Coalition for Kids, 2308 Watauga Road. In a silver Jeep Cherokee, Watson drove past them slowly, leaned in up in the seat and stared at them. He followed the girls and drove past them four more times, again leaning and staring at the girls.
One of the girls made it to her home as he continued to follow and stare. She reported the incident to her mother, who then saw Watson drive past the residence five more times.
The girl's mother followed Watson to the nearby By-Lo Market, 2307 Watauga Road, and confronted him. The mother told Watson that if he continued to follow her daughter, she would call police, according to the court record.
Several minutes after returning home, the girl's mother saw Watson drive back by the residence. She called police, who found Watson's Jeep a few blocks away at East Fairview Avenue and Mercury Street.
Watson was on probation for sex crimes. Watson was convicted in September 2004 on a felony indecent exposure charge and had two violations of the state's Sex Offender Registry, police said.
In July 2009, Watson was arrested in Elizabethton on charges that he exposed himself on a playground to two girls, ages 10 and 13.
The two girls were playing at a playground near the intersection of Watauga Avenue and Southside Road in Elizabethton. They said a man drove up in a red Geo and parked in a space adjacent to the park. They said he remained in his car for about 10 minutes and then got out of the car with his pants down and was “playing with himself.”
The girls said they ran from the playground toward their house. At the same time, one girl's father was returning home when a vehicle pulled in front of him while exiting a parking space at the playground. The father said he passed the same vehicle on the road in front of his residence. He later saw the same vehicle at restaurant, allowing him to get a license plate number.
The car was registered to Watson, and the father identified him in a photo lineup.
At the time, police said Watson was on the sex offender registry with four prior convictions of exposing himself to minors.
After his most recent arrest, Watson was jailed in the Washington County Detention Center on $30,000 bond for the stalking charges, but was held without bond for the probation violation. A Sessions Court appearance was set for Monday.