Arlington, VA

(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Police are encouraging residents to be on alert for a man caught masturbating in public while watching children across the street.

According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the man was first seen sitting on the sidewalk in between two cars with a newspaper over his lap, in the 1000 block of N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon, on Saturday, May 19. Staff from a restaurant across the street saw the man masturbating as he watched children playing on the restaurant patio.

Witnesses called the police, and one staff member walked across the street to ask the man to leave. He left without causing trouble. Police have not been able to locate him, and want residents to be aware of the incident.

“We’re putting the word out in light of several recent exposure incidents and sexual assaults,” Sternbeck said.

The children and other customers did not see the man; the act was only witnessed by restaurant staff.

He is described as a white man, around 60 years old, with medium length gray hair. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a black shirt, navy shorts and a dark colored hat.

Anyone who might encounter this man, or any other person, performing an indecent act in public is asked to call the police immediately. Police recommend not confronting the offender, as it’s not known if he might try to inflict harm.

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