ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — People looking outside their windows on Long Island got an unexpected and unwelcome sight in recent days.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported exclusively Wednesday, a man has been seen three times exposing himself in private Rockville Centre backyards – and most of those who saw him were children.
Parents of shaken teens were drawing shades and closing blinds in Rockville Centre after the naked prowler was spotted. He stood in the backyards and exposed himself to horrified young girls inside the adjoining houses.
“It’s odd, to say the least,” one man said, “It’s a little unnerving – I mean, especially If you have kids.”
“Shocking – it’s scary,” a woman said. “That’s sad.”
“I’m glad it’s getting attention,” another man said.
Rockville Centre police believe the three cases are connected. The first was on Feb. 5, when a naked man entered a backyard on Lakeview Avenue at 9 p.m. He used a flashlight or a headlamp to draw the attention of a child inside, and then exposed himself.
Police at first thought it was an isolated incident. But then it happened again on Monday night on Brompton Road and Seaman Avenue.
He struck two more homes, and two teenage girls inside were drawn to a light outside or a knock on the window. They were startled to see a naked man in the backyard performing an obscene act.
“Both in the approximate same place and same time, so this is raising our level of concern now,” said Rockville Centre police Commissioner Charles Gennario. “We are going to get this guy. It’s just a matter of time.”
A parent of one victim told CBS2 her daughter is traumatized. Another is warning neighbors, covering windows, and installing security cameras.
Police said one father tried to chase after the suspect, but he got away.
“What I ask anybody — if it happens again — to try to get a direction of flight, get us the best description you can, and call us immediately,” Gennario said.
Police do not yet think a fourth incident is related. A man was arrested Tuesday after running naked nearby on Long Beach road.
But unlike the man in the backyard cases, the man in the Tuesday incident was not heavy set.
The unsettling pattern in an otherwise safe neighborhood has police increasing patrols.
Police said because the incidents have happened at night, the descriptions given by witnesses are inconsistent.