A Democratic candidate for mayor in New Orleans allegedly masturbated during an Uber ride in California earlier this year, authorities said.
A female driver allegedly caught Frank Scurlock, who has campaigned calling for a “safer” New Orleans, pleasuring himself on a trip to a West Hollywood hotel on Feb. 10, Santa Monica Chief Deputy City Attorney Terry White told The Advocate.
Charges in connection to the incident weren’t filed until Aug. 31 because of questions regarding jurisdiction in the case, White said.
Scurlock — known locally for his slogan to “Make New Orleans Fun Again” – is scheduled to be arraigned in Los Angeles Criminal Court on Oct. 16, two days after the mayoral primary in New Orleans.
The female Uber driver reported to police that she was transporting Scurlock on a highway near Santa Monica when she heard noises coming from the back seat. The driver then stopped the car and opened the passenger car door where Scurlock was sitting and found him with his erect penis in his hand, White said.
The driver then went to a nearby gas station to call police and Scurlock allegedly fled the scene, White said, referencing the woman’s statement to police and prosecutors. The woman then took investigators back to the hotel where she initially picked Scurlock up, The Times-Picayune reports.
“They went back to the hotel and were able to get a name,” White told the newspaper. “Based on the name, they got a picture and put it in a photo lineup, and the driver identified him.”
If found guilty of a misdemeanor charge of lewd conduct, Scurlock would need to register as a sex offender in California. It’s unclear if he would also need to register as a sex offender in Louisiana if convicted, according to The Advocate.
“The allegations brought against me are without merit,” Scurlock said in a statement obtained by WDSU. “It has been many months since this alleged incident occurred. I await my day in court and expect to be vindicated.”
Scurlock was also arrested in May at the Jefferson Davis statue in New Orleans, where he allegedly approached an officer at a protest by opponents of a plan to remove the statue.
Scurlock told The Advocate after his arrest that he opposed the monument being removed because it could start a “Civil War II.” He was initially charged with obstructing a public passage, but the charge was later changed to assault before a judge dismissed the case altogether, The Times-Picayune reports.
Scurlock, a native of New Orleans, is the son of John Scurlock, who founded Space Walk Inc., a bouncy house manufacturing company, in 1958, according to a biography on his campaign website.
“Frank and his family have grown Space Walk Inc. into a multi-million-dollar company that operates in 200 communities across the country,” the website reads. “Frank built Spacewalk into America’s leader in inflatable fun. Spacewalk is in its third generation of family leadership under his son Mials Scurlock.”
In a statement to The Post, Scurlock’s son, Mials, said his father divorced from his mother, Patricia Murphy, in 2013. Murphy at that point bought Scurlock out of the family business, he said.
“My mother solely owns the trademark,” the statement read. “Further, she is the 100% shareholder.”
Scurlock has been estranged from his family since 2013, according to the statement provided by his son, Mials.
Scurlock was formerly registered as a Republican, but has since registered as a Democrat, The Times-Picayune reported in July after his May arrest.