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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Leesburg sex offender arrested after allegedly stalking 17-year-old

Edward Bridge
Edward Bridge

A convicted sex offender has been arrested after allegedly stalking a 17-year-old female retail clerk in Leesburg.

Officers were contacted by the girl while she was working at the Metro PCS store at 10700 U.S. Hwy. 441.

The girl told the police that 53-year-old Edward Bridge had purchased a phone from her while she was working at the store on Dec. 7, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. He made several comments on how attractive she was and offered to take her to a party where alcohol and marijuana would be available. He asked her for her phone number which she refused to give to him.

Bridge came back to the store a few days later to upgrade his phone to a newer model and renewed his attempt to obtain her phone number. She refused, and according to the arrest report, told Bridge “that he was in his 50’s and I am a juvenile.” On Dec. 13, he returned to the store and asked for a refund on the phone purchase. When told that her boss was the only person who could process the refund, he again asked for her phone number and invited her to party with him. She rejected his requests again. She then contacted her boyfriend to come to the store as she was frightened and was the only employee working that day .

Bridge came back to the store on Dec. 15 and 16 and badgered her for her phone number. She again refused his advances. He also confronted the girl regarding returning the cell phone. His actions frightened the girl. Later that day she found out that Bridge was a convicted sex offender who had been convicted of two counts of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse in 1991 in Pennsylvania and a 2008 conviction for sexual battery with coercion by force. In 2019, he was convicted in Lake County for a reporting violation.

After she gave a statement and signed an intention to prosecute Bridge was arrested Sunday on a stalking charge. He was booked at the Lake County Jail with bond set at $5,000.

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