University News

Masturbator spotted at Brook and Angell

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, October 16, 2011

Correction Appended.

The recent public masturbation spree on College Hill continued last night with an incident at the corner of Angell and Brook streets.

Alejandra Ceja ’12 was sitting at the kitchen table of her friends’ apartment at 9:34 p.m. when a man appeared outside the window. He saw her, removed his pants and underwear and began to masturbate, she said.

Ceja said she is used to seeing people outside the window, which opens onto a driveway between student residences, and initially thought the man was a friend. When she realized what was happening, she ran from the window and yelled to call the police.

The man then ran away.

Erika Kohnen ’12, who lives at the house, also witnessed the incident. “I didn’t see his face,” she said. “I only saw the action.”

At 9:35 p.m., Kohnen called the Providence Police Department. Ceja called the Department of Public Safety at 9:49 p.m. Both Providence and Brown police officers arrived at the scene just after 10 p.m.

Ceja said she was surprised it took Providence police almost 30 minutes to arrive. “If the aim is to catch him, they’re not doing what they need to,” she said.

She described the man as a white male with short brown hair. She said he looked to be around 20 years old and was wearing jeans.

One of the PPD officers who arrived on the scene said in a conversation with other police officers he was unaware of the previous incidents involving public masturbation on John Street.

“I think if they really want to catch the guy, they should inform not just the Brown police but the Providence police as well,” Ceja said.

The residents of the apartment took the incident with a sense of humor. “It wasn’t traumatizing or anything. We were just surprised,” Kohnen said.           

Due to an editing error, a Sept. 29 Herald article (“Masturbator provokes anxiety on John Street”) cited Avery Houser’s ‘12.5 description of the masturbator as having a mop of black hair. In fact, Houser was describing a black shirt the masturbator was wearing on his head. An earlier version of this article restated this error. The Herald regrets the error.

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