PINELLAS PARK -- A Pinellas Park children's entertainer who was arrested on child pornography charges had many gigs in the area. Detectives said Peter Douglas Emr, 34, is also known as "Emr the Jester," and he performed puppet shows, painted faces and made balloon animals for children. Emr is facing multiple charges of possession of child pornography and sexual performance with intent to promote.
Investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office are concerned about the contact Erm has with kids through his puppeteer business. They say he performed at popular Renaissance Festivals, and the 3rd Friday event for the city of Safety Harbor. Erm also worked as the Chick-Fil-A cow at Tyrone Square Mall, including just this past weekend.
Neighbor Leah Forss said she had a bad feeling about Emr and wouldn't let her 7-year-old daughter around him.
"He was always trying to babysit her," said Forss. "He would ask and ask and I always said 'no.'" Then he started harassing my mom to get to my daughter when she had her."
Detectives said they began investigating Emr in December after receiving a tip that he had child pornography in his possession. When detectives searched his home on Tuesday, they took several electronic devices that belonged to Emr.
So far, investigators said they have found more than 400 images showing children as young as 3 months old engaged in sexual activity.
Others in the Pinellas Park neighborhood were suspicious, too.
They say he worked as the pool monitor and performed his puppet show at the nearby park. The management made him quit after people complained he was behaving inappropriately toward the kids.
"This just goes to show that you have to watch your children," said Mike Warner who lives down the street from Emr. "Don't let them play with just anybody. Keep a close eye on them."
Detectives said that Emr admitted to the crime.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective Holly Tsanakaliotis of the Special Victims Unit at (727) 582-6200.