Police: Man caught masturbating in front of school bus

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

PHENIX CITY, AL (WXTX) -  A Phenix City man is accused of pleasuring himself as a school bus full of children passed by his house.

Police say the bus was carrying children in elementary school, ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade.

David Culpepper, 57, was arrested by Phenix City investigators at his home on 17th Avenue Friday morning and charged with Indecent Exposure, a misdemeanor.

According to police, a Phenix City bus driver came to them on May 10th and said he stopped the bus and spotted Culpepper masturbating in his front yard, in plain view of the bus and the young passengers. Investigators say a wooden fence in Culpepper's front yard did not block what was happening.

"At the time the school bus would be driving by his house in the early morning hours, he was outside exposing himself. From what we understand, during our investigation, it has been happening since the beginning of the school year this year. He's been seen by kids on the bus as well as the bus driver. He would come outside. He has a six foot privacy fence in front of his house, possibly for the last 30 days, and he would come outside naked standing on his porch or in his front yard. Riding the school bus, you can see over the privacy fence," said Sergeant Mark Rogers, a Phenix City investigator that deals with crimes against children.

Sergeant Rogers says even though the obscene acts have been happening for nearly the entire school year, they were not reported to police by the bus driver until May 10th.

Rogers tells WXTX officers rode the bus several times to see if they could spot Culpepper in the act. He says they did not see anything illegal when they passed by his house. At this point in the investigation, officials will not reveal what, if any, statements Culpepper made to investigators after his arrest.

Culpepper posted bond Friday and when approached by a WTVM crew on the street in front of his home, he denied the allegations and said that everything is "false."

When asked if Culpepper has a criminal history, Phenix City police said he has never been in any trouble until his arrest Friday.

"Anytime that we can put somebody in jail for a crime against not only juveniles but any other persons or people, we feel like that we're doing our job and keeping the community safe," Sergeant Rogers said.

"Allegations and reports of this nature will be investigated. When it comes to children, we'll investigate allegations like these," added Lieutenant Jason Whitten, the lead investigator on the case.

Police say Culpepper told them he is a carpenter but cannot find work so now he is a "scrapper," collecting junk and picking up cans. He has a 13-year-old daughter who lives with him, according to investigators.

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