Glendale Galleria bans man after incident with girls
Flamboyantly dressed visitor to the Galleria harassed teens, police say.
Scott Basko, was arrested at Glendale Galleria on suspicion of child annoyance. (Courtesy of the Glendale Police Department / August 15, 2012)
The man, Scott Basko, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three misdemeanor counts of child molesting for making sexually explicit gestures at the girls — who ranged in age from 13 to 15 — on Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.
Basko had already been temporarily banned from the Americana at Brand for committing lewd acts in front of teen girls — including “intentionally adjusting his penis while wearing similar skin-tight pants” — while at the outdoor mall, according to Glendale police reports.
Large venues with many people can be an easy target for individuals who “want to prey upon our young,” Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
Basko was arrested at 3:50 p.m. Monday after an employee notified police that the girls were hiding inside Cache clothing store to get away from him, according to police.
When officers approached Basko, he told them he was browsing fashion, according to police reports. Basko also reportedly told officers that his gum-chewing could have been mistaken for other actions.
The girls told police that Basko — whose shiny zebra-print vest exposed his chest and midriff — began staring and winking at them when they were taking photographs of each other outside a mall store.
They also took a photo of him to show authorities “if he continued to act weird,” according to a police report.
When the girls began walking away, he allegedly followed, prompting one of them to yell “stop.”
They took cover inside a store, waited for 10 minutes and exited, which is when they told police they saw him leaning against a railing and staring at them. At that point, Basko allegedly made sexually explicit gestures with his tongue.
The girls again tried to walk away, but he walked faster and closer to them, according to police. That’s when they ran into Cache and the police were called.
Police also reported finding a bag containing marijuana and drug paraphernalia on Basko during the arrest.
In a statement, Glendale Galleria General Manager Larry Martin said shoppers were expected to follow the mall’s code of conduct, which is posted throughout the property.
“If they do not,” he said, “there are actions that will be taken.”