Man accused of streaking through Walmart

By Tom Joyce -

Mount Airy police reported Tuesday the arrest of a young local man who allegedly ran naked through Walmart.

Austin Tyler Hawks, 20, of 108 Mayport Lane, has been charged with two counts of indecent exposure in connection with the weekend incident, during which police say he was spotted in the Rockford Street store nude. Hawks’ only adornment reportedly was a Subway cup containing beer which he was carrying at the time, although this was not confirmed by police.

Hawks additionally is accused of underage consumption of an alcoholic beverage and possession of drug paraphernalia.

“It looks like the initial call came in as a subject running through the store naked at Walmart,” Capt. Barry VanHoy of the Mount Airy Police Department said Tuesday regarding the Sunday incident, which initially was reported as a civil disturbance.

“And that was about 12:25 in the morning,” added VanHoy, relaying accounts from the arresting officer, C.D. Smith, who was off duty Tuesday.

“We got information that the subject (Hawks) left in a vehicle,” VanHoy said of a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, “which later was located at Cook Out on Rockford Street, and that’s where the arrest was made.” Cook Out is a fast-food restaurant at 1998 Rockford St., not far from Walmart.

No explanation has surfaced as to why Hawks allegedly was in the store nude.

After being booked, he was confined in the Surry County Jail under a $500 secured bond.

Hawks is scheduled to appear in District Court on Aug. 16 on the indecent exposure, underage consumption and paraphernalia offenses, which are all misdemeanors.

VanHoy agreed Tuesday the case is not of the type that local officers encounter on a regular basis.

“It’s unusual,” said the police captain, a 17-year law enforcement veteran.

“In my years, this is not the first call we’ve ever gotten like this,” he said of incidents involving public nudity.

“But it’s very, very rare.”

By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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