'Just a friendly guy': Man arrested for touching young girls at New Smyrna Beach, deputies say

Credit: Volusia Sheriffs Office

A Volusia County man was arrested for allegedly making unwanted physical contact with several beachgoers including an 8 and 9-year-old at New Smyrna Beach, deputies said. 

The man who appeared to be intoxicated, John Edington, 56, told deputies when confronted about his behavior that he was "just a friendly guy."

The incident happened at 2:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon when witnesses saw Edington approach a 9-year-old girl on the shoreline while her mother was in the ocean, deputies said. 

He reportedly rubbed his hands over her body before her mother was able to get to shore and confront him. Another 8-year-old girl told deputies Edington touched her in the same way. 

Witnesses at the beach told deputies he grabbed and approached others during his afternoon on the beach. 

He was taken to the Volusia County Jail and charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious behavior, each carrying a bond of $20,000.