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TikTok creator facing backlash over recording people on San Diego beach


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    SAN DIEGO (KFMB) — A popular TikTok star is facing backlash from a “content creation” trip to San Diego’s famed Pacific Beach.

Erick Ronaldo, 26, a TikTok star known for approaching strangers for short interviews and social experiments, was accused of making sexual advances and harassing beachgoers. At the same time, another man with Ronaldo recorded the interaction from afar.

The accusations were made in a public Reddit group.

“So I saw these guys at PB today. The one with the camera was standing out of view of women sunbathing and taking photos of their [expletive] as the other one went up to them. I witnessed them talk to a woman in a yellow swimsuit. It seemed weird so I went up to yellow swimsuit and asked what they wanted. The woman told me he said he was trying to prove that being nice to women was a successful way to pick up girls.”

CBS 8 spoke with Ronaldo who said the interaction was consensual, but the women they were speaking with denied Ronaldo permission to share the interaction on his social accounts.

“I was pretty much trying to get this girl’s number with a pickup line my subscriber commented. It was like, are you water? Because I’m 67% water, which means you like me,” Ronaldo said.

Ronaldo said he was approached by a hostile beachgoer who began taking pictures of him and said “How does it feel me taking a picture of you without consent?” to which Ronaldo responded, “Bro, tag me in it.”

“He became hostile and began shouting racist remarks at me,” Ronaldo said.

CBS 8 spoke with the man who was concerned for the women’s safety and took to Reddit to warn San Diegans. He said after he took the photo and asked Ronalado how he felt being photographed, he didn’t say a “single thing else to him.” He also said there were no racist remarks.

“People deserve respect and I’d be pissed if someone did that to my sister or mother or cousin,” the man who witnessed the interaction said in a comment.

Several community members in the Reddit group expressed disinterest in Ronaldo’s social accounts. Some said “Stop creeping on women” while others recommended Ronaldo and his videographer not return to San Diego.

CBS 8 reviewed the video in question in which Ronaldo does return to the woman to inform her he was recording the interaction, to which she denied permission to post the video.

Ronaldo pointed towards his cameraman to which the woman asked “Where would you post the video?”

The video ended with Ronaldo who said: “Hope you have a wonderful day.” The woman responded and said “Thanks.”

San Diego police told CBS 8 that there is no law prohibiting people from being recorded in public places such as Pacific Beach.

Although there is no law that prohibits people from being recorded in public places without consent, there is California law that protects audio and conversations from being recorded without consent, according to California Penal Code 632.

Ronaldo said he always asks for permission to post the social experiments after the initial interaction.

“The comments are freaking me out. I’m probably going to leave the city because of this,” Ronaldo told CBS 8.

Ronaldo’s TikTok account garnered more than 1.2 million followers where he shared other seemingly random interactions with people in San Diego’s Downtown area.

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