The search for a man who has been described as “aggressively touching himself on the outside of his clothing” continues after he evaded University Police for the fourth time March 9.
Crime alerts sent out between October and March described a tall man of either hispanic or middle eastern descent in his 20s to 30s who if found, will face a misdemeanor charge of soliciting a lewd act according to UPD. He was reportedly seen in all of the incidents on the south side of Lot S, the student parking lot of College Park.
“He has been pretty consistent with his activity level and where he stands,” said University Police Capt. Scot Willey. “We are starting to see a pattern, so that helps us out a little bit in what we are looking for.”
Around 10 officers responded to the March 9 call about the recurring man, Willey said. Three detectives, two captains, motor officers, community service officers and parking enforcement were “out there looking for him immediately,” he said.
“We were all out there. I was even out there,” Willey said. “We were there within a minute and we had people all over the place and there was a little bit of miscommunication on which way he was going but we had people in every direction … We might have just missed him.”
In Tuesday’s incident, a female student reported seeing the man.
Willey said the man was walking around acting like he was on the phone while the student was walking back to her car from class. She sat in the back seat intending to “study for awhile” before her next class.
“He went and stood right next to her and started rubbing himself outside of his clothing while he was acting like he was talking on the phone,” Willey said.”
University Police pulled camera footage and determined that the man fled Lot S in a black or dark gray sedan down Commonwealth Ave. toward Nutwood Ave., turning right and heading toward the 57 freeway. They believe he was “spooked” by an approaching group of students, Willey said.
“Now that we know that he has a vehicle, we are definitely going to be looking for that,” Willey said.
University Police was unable to determine the make of the car or any identifying information about it or the man because the campus cameras were too far away and grainy, Willey said.
“We believe that he is watching (students) get into their vehicles and then goes and stands directly by them and looks into that vehicle,” Willey said.
The previous incidents occurred on Oct. 24, Feb. 1 and Feb. 23.
The Oct. 26 UPD alert said the subject was seen “exposing himself in an apartment complex adjacent to Parking Lot S in June of 2016.”
Willey said University Police has increased enforcement in Lot S and will continue to search for the man, but limited resources in the department make it difficult to constantly monitor the area. On the day of the most recent incident, police officers were busy with an on-campus political demonstration.
“Americans for Trump were here and it was getting a little heated so our patrol officers were over at that site. When the call came in a couple of them had to scramble to their vehicles to get over to that area, so that was taking up our time and we were not in that area at that time,” Willey said.
University Police said the man comes to the College Park student parking lot around 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We are hoping that we are the ones who catch him because we are definitely out looking day and night for this guy,” Willey said.