Catching the flasher

Published September 21, 2015 by justicewg

The reports about the flasher in Grandview seemed to be going away this year, but he is back. This is from the Grandview city blog.

“On September 17, 2015, at approximately 8:40pm, officers were dispatched to the area of W. Second Ave and Morning Ave on the report of a man who had exposed his genitals to three females, two of which were juveniles. Upon arrival, the victims stated they were approached from behind by an unknown male that had a black shirt partially covering his face. The suspect made threats that he was going to sexually assault the victims while engaging in a sex act. He is described as a Caucasian male, 6 feet tall, and 200 pounds.

There have been fourteen public indecency reports that have certain similarities since June 30, 2013, within the City of Grandview Heights. Those similarities include the suspect appearing from behind a structure or landscaping, and his face will be covered. However, the physical description of the suspect(s) remains inconsistent, and this is the first incident where threats have been made to a victim. Four additional incidents in the same time frame were unrelated and resulted in criminal charges for two suspects. A third suspect was interviewed but not charged.

We continue to ask citizens to be vigilant and not to approach or make contact with any suspicious individuals. If anyone has any information about these incidents they are encouraged to contact the Grandview Heights Police immediately at (614) 488-7901. “

There was also an email that was sent to parents, warning about the flasher. That email included a few suggestions, such as having the Grandview Police number above listed on your speed dial. The standard 911 call will reach the Grandview police, but there are delays caused by transfers from the Columbus police 911 operator to Grandview. It also suggested walking with another person (impractical advice for some). One good plan was to maintain a map in your head, so that you can quickly tell the dispatcher the exact location of a flasher sighting.

My not expert advice – scream loudly. This is a busy city, and screams are not normal sounds. You will attract attention, except in the most remote corners of the city like Goodale Ave. Pepper spray can be effective, but you have to train yourself to grab it and aim correctly, it will need a lot of practice.

The one item that most people carry without fail is their cell phone, and all cell phones now have cameras. If one person in your group is calling the cops, the others can start a video recording. Again, practice is the key, because a video of a person running away down a dark alley is not much use. Be ready to start the video at a moment’s notice. I’m thinking that there must be some physical characteristic of the flasher which will give him away – maybe a ring on a finger, or a stain on his clothing that can be matched with the clothing of a suspect.

Previous post about the flasher.

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