LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Groveland firefighter was arrested on battery charges after being accused of touching a 16-year-old girl inappropriately at a birthday party, deputies with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.
Carl Jamison Elder, 24, turned himself in Friday, authorities said.
According to an affidavit, on Oct. 5, Elder and his wife attended the party on a piece of property on Bay Lake Road in Tavares, where attendants went mud riding.
The teen told deputies that she and her friend were on a utility vehicle when Elder drove beside them and asked their ages, and then commented on “how young they were,” the affidavit said.
The teen told deputies that later in the evening when she went to get snacks, she was sitting on the front seat of the vehicle, leaning back when Elder came up behind her and inappropriately touched her for about a minute, the affidavit said. Elder also spoke inappropriately to the teen, deputies said.
According to the affidavit, the teen told Elder to stop, but he only did when she sat up. She then said something about his family to which he replied, ”None of that matters,” the report said.
Elder kept asking the girl to have drinks with him inside his vehicle, but she refused, the affidavit said.
The affidavit said Elder left the party with his wife, and about an hour later, the teen received a message on Facebook from Elder that read: “Now that I’m sobering up I have to apologize for the way I acted and that’s no excuse for the way I behaved I just can’t explain the way I felt the way I did.”
When questioned by authorities, Elder replied, “I don’t think I did it. I don’t believe I did it,” the affidavit said.
The report also said when questioned about the Facebook message, he said he did not know, ”but I don’t use periods, so sure.”
Elder was arrested on a charge of simple battery, but he was released on $5,000 bail, according to the Sheriff's Office's website.
There is no word on whether he is still employed as a firefighter.
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