Man Arrested for Sock ‘Fetish’: Cops

Man approached three girls and asked them to run around park with socks, police said

By Karen Yi
|  Wednesday, May 2, 2012  |  Updated 2:01 PM EDT
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St. Lucie County Sheriff

Robert Mark Van Wagner

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A Port St. Lucie man was arrested for asking three girls to put on socks and run around the park in them, authorities said.

Robert Mark Van Wagner, 33, was arrested Sunday and faces charges of lewd and lascivious behavior and loitering and prowling, according to an arrest affidavit. He was released later that day on $30,000 bond, officials with the St. Lucie County Jail said.

Police said Van Wagner kept driving around a park starring at the three girls, aged 12 to 13. When he finally parked his car, he approached the girls and asked them to put on two pairs of socks that he gave them and run around the field, the report said.

Van Wagner, who works as a media specialist at Jensen Beach High School according to the affidavit, allegedly told the girls it was for a school project and really needed them to do this for him, authorities said.

When the girls refused, he left the socks in a plastic bag on the bench in case they changed their minds, but he continued to drive past them in the park, the report said.

Police later arrested Van Wagner, described as a “creepy man” by the girls, as he drove past the girls again, the report said.

"The suspect told me it was an uncontrollable fetish and sometimes he just has to do this. He said he can't control urges he has for this fetish," the officer wrote in the arrest report.

The arrest report stated that on April 24, Van Wagner approached another teenage girl and asked her the similar questions about socks.

"The suspect could not keep track of all of his incidents with people in the park. The suspect told me he knew it was wrong what he has been doing but cannot control his urges. He said his parents have been telling him that he needs to get help for a long time but he stated he doesn't want to speak with anyone about it," the report read. 

It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

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