Flasher: cops are closing in

2010-08-18 00:00

POLICE are hot on the heels of the Montgomery Drive flasher.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said yesterday that calls have been received in response to an article The Witness published last week about a young woman jogger who was followed and threatened by a young man driving an old-shape VW Jetta.

After following her from Taunton Road, he parked in her driveway and leapt out of his car, shouting obscenities at her as he masturbated, naked below the waist.

“We have received very good information. One man matching the description of the suspect was taken in for questioning, but it turned out that he was not the right man.”

Jeevan said that the victim of the Montgomery Drive flasher told police that the man they were questioning is much younger than the suspect.

In another recent incident, a 19-year-old student has reported that she was followed for two days in a row by a man fitting the description of the Montgomery Drive flasher.

Her mother told The Witness yesterday that the man followed her in an old VW Jetta as she walked home from Roberts Road along Villiers Drive towards Zwartkops Road. “He fitted the same description. He would drive ahead of her and then stop his car while she walked towards him.

“He was definitely looking out for her, but she kept her cool and managed to evade him both times.” She said her daughter no longer walks alone in the area.

The Montgomery Drive flasher is described as a white man with blonde or light brown curly hair, thin in build and of a medium height. The Jetta he drives has rust on the left side bottom section and the wheel rims on the car are different, or are not for that vehicle.

In a twist to the story, another youngster has been singled out for flashing at another jogger in the same area. Jeevan said a woman stopped her on the way to work recently to say that a youngster had exposed his private parts to her as she jogged in the park opposite Grey’s Hospital.

“When we approached him, he denied having exposed himself. He was a 17-year-old schoolboy who said he was just sitting in the park. The woman declined to open a case against him. His parents were told about the incident.”

Police have asked anyone with any information that may help them arrest the Montgomery Drive flasher to contact the Town Hill branch commander, Bhekani Vilakazi, at 033 845 7789 or 082 459 7491.

Anyone who has had a similar encounter with this man can contact Stephanie at The Witness at 033 3551127 or e-mail newsed@witness.co.za

LOCAL psychologist Akashni Maharaj told The Witness that while men who expose themselves may seem to be confident, they could be dealing with issues of low self-esteem and serious psychological problems.

“It’s about the shock factor, not about the physical thing. What response will they get? How far can they go?” Worryingly, Maharaj said that from the the description in last week’s Witness, the man shouting obscenities at the young woman could have been suffering a psychotic episode.

“That behaviour is not from a rational place and could indicate an altered state of mind.” Maharaj warned that such individuals could become dangerous if accosted.

She said flashers could also be attention-seeking exhibitionists who needed others to acknowledge who they are.

“They may have had a traumatic childhood and have poor impulse control.”

Maharaj added that the experience of having someone expose themselves is traumatic for the victim. “Boundaries of acceptable behaviour have been crossed. It’s a violation and a trauma.” She said victims’ experiences should not be taken lightly as there could be long-term repercussions.

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