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North Carolina neighbors relieved after teenager arrested for prowling half-naked

Carlos Antonio Soto

CLAYTON, N.C. — A Clayton teen has been identified as the half-naked man seen on multiple videos prowling the Riverwood Athletic Club neighborhood back in December 2019, officials announced Thursday, according to WNCN.

Carlos Antonio Soto, 18, is charged with indecent exposure in connection with the bizarre incidents caught on camera in early December.

“It’s about time. It’s about time and I don’t have to worry about coming outside and letting the kids run around freely,” said Roman Smith, who lives on Huston Lane

Home security video captured Soto walking around homes along Huston Lane on Dec. 6 and 7. He was captured on camera walking across driveways and near front and back doors. He was half-naked in some of the incidents.

“I’d like to know what he was doing,” said Riverwood neighborhood resident David Setser. “It was 11:15 one night, midnight the next. What are you doing roaming around with no pants on?”

Police had “successfully identified a suspect” on Dec. 10, but “needed more evidence before criminal charges could be made,” according to a press release.

“Over the last month, they were able to finally collect enough evidence to support criminal charges. Detectives secured warrants for Soto’s arrest” on Wednesday.

The initial lack of an arrest frustrated families in the Riverwood neighborhood, with some saying they felt unsafe knowing the prowler was still out there.

“Word got out they knew who he was, but nothing was being done. That was alarming. Why wasn’t anything happening? Now that this all came out, I believe everyone on this street right here is pleased,” said Smith.

Soto lives about a mile from Huston Lane. A woman who answered the door at his home said she had no comment.

In March 2018, Soto was charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure after a victim reported him masturbating outside a window of the Riverwood Athletic Club gymnasium, Clayton police said.

Police said the adult woman reported that she was working out on March 12 when she noticed a figure outside the window who appeared to be touching his groin area. The suspect moved closer to the glass and the victim could clearly see his genitalia.

Soto’s arrest warrant for the December incident lists “DON’T RUN AROUND NAKED” as a condition of his release.

“We truly appreciate the community’s help in bringing this disturbing case to close,” said Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand. “More and more people are installing cameras on their homes, and the surveillance video is incredibly helpful to law enforcement everywhere in catching criminals. In this instance, though, we needed the law to catch up to technology. For now, at least, cameras can’t be victims; only people can.”

Soto was arrested and given a $1,000 secured bond on the charge. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 10.

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