HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Students at Hofstra University have been warned to look out for a flasher in the neighborhood.
School officials say the man has struck in the blocks surrounding the Hempstead campus. Students say they’re disturbed by the potential threat.
“I think it’s just disgusting,” student Fatima Shaikh tells CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
Fatima and her sister Zara got an alert from the school’s public safety department, saying a man has “been committing lewd acts in a car,” and exposing himself to female students.
“If that were me I’d be really scared to be out by myself,” Zara said.
University officials confirm that it’s happened twice in the past ten days right near the school’s entrance gate on Hamilton road, where many students live off-campus.
A man in a dark colored sedan has approached women walking alone around midday and asked for directions onto campus. When the students tried to be helpful and respond, he exposed himself.
“That’s just degrading in general,” one woman said. “What do we want to see that? We are here to learn.”
“It’s kind of very much sickening and we come here to learn and educate ourselves and it’s just, it’s disgusting someone can feel that this is fine,” Hofstra Law student Ilana Ladyzhensky said.
Even some of the male students have noticed an impact.
“They’re surprised,” university senior Daniel Rossaro said. “They don’t want to stay late after class when it gets dark, especially commuters, they want to go home.”
The warning to students comes as police in Rockville Centre arrested a man for flashing teens in residential backyards — the NYPD officer was charged with public lewdness and released.
The suspect is described as an African American male between 20 and 30-years-old.
Police in Hempstead won’t say if they’re investigating any connection between the two cases, only that they’ve increased patrols in the area.
In the meantime, the university reminds students to stay alert and tuned into their surroundings, avoid walking alone, walk quickly and confidently to their destination, and report any suspicious behavior to Hofstra’s Public Safety Department or the local authorities.