Local YouTuber Confronts Alleged Sexual Predator in Brooksville (VIDEO)
Last updated 11/1/2022 at 12:23pm
BROOKSVILLE – Citizens have had enough of sexual predators stalking their children and preying on their naivety through social media apps, and that's what led a group of Hernando County residents to start exposing their illegal activities with decoy sting operations.
Popular apps like Meetme, Whatsapp, Kik, and Grindr have become hunting grounds for sexual predators to chat with underage victims and attempt to lure them into meeting. Often times the predator will entice their victim with drugs or alcohol, taking advantage of a child's desire to feel "grown up."
A local YoutTuber is using his online popularity to fight back against sexual predators.
Walker Sheppard has several videos on his Youtube channel, but his latest target has drawn the attention of Hernando County residents because of his alleged volunteer work around children.
Last week, Sheppard and his friends set up a meeting with a 50-year-old man who goes by the name of Brooksville Gay Guy on the Grindr app. The subject's real name is Steve E. Smith, and he agreed to meet with Sheppard at the Wendy's Restaurant located on Broad Street in Brooksville. When Smith walked out of the restaurant, Sheppard and his team confronted him about his inappropriate conversation with who he thought was a 15-year-old boy. Smith immediately got into his car and refused to answer questions or admit to any of the activity. (CLICK IMAGES TO WATCH VIDEO)
Sheppard is later seen in the video attempting to make contact with Smith at his home and advising his neighbors of Smith's alleged actions.
After watching the video, R News contacted Sheppard about the encounter and was provided screenshots of his conversation with Smith.
In part, the messages read:
Decoy: ...I turned 15 but I can b*ng you like I'm 25.
Smith: Okay, let me know.
Another message reads:
Smith: Wear whatever you want sexy. I wanna see u in your birthday suit! Can I see a pic of you from the front naked?
Decoy: Ya, my brother just woke up he's in the bathroom right now.
Sheppard reads additional messages on his Youtube video and he also alleges that Smith sent a nude photo of himself.
Sheppard says that Smith is associated with Kiwanis Club, so R News contacted the Weeki Wachee chapter, but we were told that he has no affiliation with their group. We then attempted to contact the Brooksville chapter, but we have yet to receive a response.
According to a records search, Smith works for Pasco County Economic Development, which is located at the Government center on Little Road. R News stopped by his office today and attempted to make contact with him, but a representative of the office said he was busy and couldn't speak with us. We then asked for a supervisor but was directed to speak with their H.R. Department. So far, we have not received a response from Pasco County regarding his involvement in the alleged attempts to meet with a 15-year-old boy.
Sheppard reported the incident to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, but it is unknown if an active investigation is underway.
We will bring more on this story as it develops.