COLUMBIA, Md. - Howard County police have been busy investigating a series of indecent exposure incidents over the last week.
County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn confirmed that officers have responded to four unrelated, yet similar such incidents between Saturday and Tuesday.
Llewellyn stressed police have confirmed all the incidents were not connected and that the number of such incidents are actually down when compared to the same time last year. However, police are being vigilant in investigating each case due to the close time proximity between the cases.
"The fact we have had these back-to-back is something we are looking closely at," Llewellyn said. "What we know now is that all four are unrelated and we have made an arrest in one of them."
The most recent incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, when according to police reports, a woman was walking through the Centennial Park along with 4600 block of Centennial Lane when she saw a man exposing himself on a park bench.
Police said the man ran off after the woman told him she was calling 911. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 20 to 30 years old with a muscular build, dark hair, dark eyes, light beard and wearing a gray shirt and black shorts.
This incident came a day after police arrested, Robert William Beattie, 35, of Wilmington, Del. , for indecent exposure and second-degree assault at the Royal Farms store, located on the 8200 of Lark Brown Road in Elkridge. In that case, a woman involved in a fender bender said a man called her over as she stood by her car.
Police say the woman thought the man had information about the accident, but when she approached the window, he grabbed her hand and pulled her into the window and exposed himself. She screamed and the man drove off, but the other driver involved in the accident wrote down his tag number.
On Sunday, a guest at a Columbia Sheraton, located at the 10200 block of Wincopin Circle, told police a man exposed himself to her outside a window as she worked out at the hotel's fitness center. That man was described as Asian with dark hair and wearing brown or khaki pants.
Finally, police are also looking for a man suspected of exposing himself to two women Saturday at a Columbia Target store , located in the 6100 block of Dobbin Road. Police actually released a surveillance photo of the man wanted in connection of that case.
Llewellyn said anyone with information about these cases should call police at 410-313-STOP. Also, anyone who experiences a similar incident should not hesitate to report it.
"Often times by the time our officers arrive the person is gone," Llewllyn said. "But we can get a good description and pay attention to as many detail about their clothing and their tag number if they are in a car. This is something we take very seriously."