HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico woman is shocked after she claims a man exposed and then touched himself while in his car in a public parking lot in broad daylight.
Henrico Police were called around 2 p.m. Tuesday to the Merchants Walk Shopping Center off West Broad Street for a report of a man masturbating in his vehicle.
The woman who called police, Laura, said by the time they showed up the man was gone.
“He wasn't ashamed of what he was doing," Laura said.
Laura never expected to experience what she encountered when she showed up at the shopping center to pick up her roommate from work.
“It wasn’t even two minutes later that [this man] pulled up next to me when there were a whole bunch of free parking spots and he just sat there,” Laura said.
The 29-year-old was minding her own business, talking on the phone, when she noticed activity out of the corner of her eye. Laura said she kept her focus on her phone, but eventually glanced over.
“I saw the man with his erect self, touching himself and looking at me like he knew I saw,” she said.
Thinking quickly, Laura got out of the car slowly and went to the back of the black Nissan Sentra to get a look at his North Carolina license plate.
“I think he noticed something was up,” she said. “I tried to be as discreet as possible but he started backing out.”
The man reportedly took off before Henrico Police arrived at the shopping center. Laura said she gave police the plate number, however details about the case were not released by police due to the ongoing investigation.
“It was very shocking,” Laura said. “It just scared me for other people because it’s a very family-oriented shopping center and there could have been a minor; it could have been worse.”
A spokesman for Henrico Police said if you encounter something like this to call them at (804) 501-5000 to report suspicious activity.
Laura wanted to share her story in order to let others know they’re not alone, and feels these kinds of incidents taken place on a daily basis.
“Helps you realize what a community you have and that there’s no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed because you did nothing wrong in that situation,” Laura said.
Henrico police continue to investigate but encourage people to be aware of their surroundings no matter the time of day or night.
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