GULFPORT, Fla. — An off-duty St. Petersburg firefighter and his girlfriend were arrested Tuesday after an officer found them having sexual intercourse on the hood of a car, according to Gulfport Police.

  • Thomas Lewis, 58, charged with lewd, lascivious behavior
  • Girlfriend faces similar charges
  • Lewis placed on administrative leave
  • More Pinellas County stories

Firefighter Thomas Lewis, 58, and his girlfriend, Penny Snoots, 56, were charged with misdemeanor lewd and lascivious behavior. According to a police report, the couple were caught in the act by an officer just before 7 p.m., at 5350 31st Ave. S. in Gulfport.

Witness Arthur Shirley said he witnessed the public sex as he drove to his home near that location.

“Driving down in front of my residence and noticed a couple out here having oral sex in the middle of the road,” he said. “I had to go around them to pull in my alley to get into my driveway and it didn’t seem to bother them at all.”

Shirley said when he got into his home he decided to call 911.

“It escalated from oral sex to actual sexual intercourse on the fender of the red car,” he said. “There’s no place for that here or anywhere.”

The witness said an elderly couple walked past the couple at the time too.

“They stopped and they looked at that for about 3 or 4 seconds and they quickly exited the area,” said Shirley. “You could tell they were generally disturbed by the show that was going on.”

Lieutenant Steve Lawrence with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue said Lewis works out of Fire Station No. 10 and has been placed on administrative leave as they investigate the incident. 

“That needs to be in the bedroom,” Shirley said. “Not out in the public for everybody to see.”

According to an arrest report, an officer found marijuana in Snoots’ purse and she was also charged with possession. Lewis got out of the Pinellas Jail on a $150 bond and Snoots was released on a $300 bond on Wednesday.

Lewis and Snoots did not respond to a request for an interview.