Palo Alto police pursue possible serial flasher


Palo Alto police are investigating whether a report of man exposing himself to a 13-year-old girl in early August may be tied to three other recent flashing incidents, police said Sunday.

A parent of the girl decided to report the flashing to police on Oct. 7 after seeing media coverage of an indecent exposure incident in Palo Alto related to police on Oct. 6, Palo Alto police Detective Sgt. Brian Philip said.

Detectives learned that the girl had been walking her dog in the 1600 block of Bryant Street between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on a weekday sometime in early August when she happened to look into the passenger window of a parked vehicle, Philip said.

After making eye contact with a man in the automobile, she saw that the man was masturbating his exposed penis, police said.

The girl then walked with the dog south on Bryant Street and saw the suspect’s vehicle drive away heading east on Lowell Avenue, according to Philip.

As she continued to traverse heading north in the 1500 block of Emerson Street, she then noticed the same man sitting in the vehicle facing south on Emerson Street in front of her and she walked in a hurry past him, police said.

The man then called out a greeting to her, during which he may have been masturbating, but she ignored him, returned home and immediately reported what happened to her parents, according to police. Her parents, however, did not report the incident to police, according to Philip.

The girl described the suspect as a “clean cut” white man, between 20 and 30 years old with brown hair and wearing large black sunglasses and a white tank top, Philip said.

She said his vehicle appeared to be a blue Volvo, possibly an SUV, with a spare tire mounted on the back that had a blue plastic cover, police said. The incident is similar to the three other reports of a man exposing himself to victims earlier this month, according to investigators.

On Oct. 6, a 14-year-old girl walking in the 1600 block of Bryant Street reported a man inside a new-looking pickup truck drive next to her slowly and then she saw him masturbating, police said.

On Oct. 7, a 10-year-old girl out with her dog near the intersection of Byron Street and Seale Avenue reported that a man driving a Volvo sedan exposed himself to her and asked if she wanted to touch his genitals.

Then on Oct. 9, a woman in her 20s riding a bicycle in the 4300 block of Miller Avenue said a man drove up beside her in white BMW four-door sedan and she could see him masturbating, police said.

No arrests have been made and detectives are investigating possible connections to the four flashing incidents, officers said.

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