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Police searching for man who allegedly touched himself near elementary school

Posted at 4:36 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 23:21:07-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police are searching for a man who allegedly exposed and touched himself in front of an elementary school.

Police said they received a call Monday at 11:15 a.m. about a man masturbating in front of Stonebrook Montessori School on East Boulevard.

When crews arrived, a school employee told police a man who appeared to be in his late 50s wearing a burgundy Cavs hat, black hoodie and jeans was across the street from the school.

"We definitely chose to act rather than spend too much time guessing if we had something to worry about," said Amber Oxley, the school administrator who called police.

Oxley told authorities that while she was outside right before the children started recess, she saw the man behind a tree peeking into the area where the children were about to play. She said he had his pants down to his knees without any underwear on and was showing his genitals and masturbating.

"Just making sure the school was safe is always our first priority," Oxley said.

Police said the witness told the man that he was near a school. She said the man told her he was "just trying to take a poop."

Oxley said the man was looking into the recess area for 10 minutes before fleeing on foot.

"It’s unnerving in terms of that its so public, you know its not something where he’s trying to hide his behavior necessarily 100% because he’s right out in the open and he’s within such a close proximity to the school and to the children, so we could consider him to be dangerous to the kids and that’s why we need to get him identified," said Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia.