WATCH: Accused stalker arrested after 2 girls run for help, Volusia deputies say

Deputies arrested Kevin Rich, 55, Thursday night

DeLAND, Fla. – A man facing stalking charges said he did not follow two girls who ran to a gas station for help, claiming they were actually just startled by the fact he was doing drugs and touching himself on the side of the road, according to a news release from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies arrested Kevin Rich, 55, Thursday night at a convenience store along West International Speedway Boulevard.

The investigation began after an employee at a Circle K on West New York Avenue called emergency dispatchers around 7 p.m., according to the release.

Listen to the 911 call in the media player below:

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The worker told deputies two girls came running into the store claiming they were being followed by a man in a gray car, records show. Deputies said the worker kept the girls with her behind the counter until law enforcement arrived.

The victims told investigators they had just left the Circle K after buying drinks when a car pulled up alongside them, according to the release. Deputies said the girls attempted to avoid the vehicle but that the driver, Rich, said something to them as they passed. The girls said the man turned his car around to follow them and tried speaking with them again, prompting them to drop their drinks and money before taking off back to the Circle K.

Deputies said they found the spilled drinks and money right where the girls described the incident. Investigators said the victims provided a detailed description of Rich and his clothing.

When deputies caught up with Rich at a different mini-mart, the man said, “Is this about the two girls from earlier,” records show.

At this point, Rich said he had not gone after the girls, rather that he had pulled over on Grand Avenue to smoke crack and fondle himself when the girls caught sight of him and took off, according to the release.

Rich faces two counts of aggravated stalking of a minor and two counts of attempted lewd and lascivious exhibition to a minor, records show.

The sheriff’s office asked anyone who has experienced a similar incident to call detectives at 386-943-7866, the non-emergency line at 386-248-1777 or 911 in an emergency.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.