Witness comes forward in case of lewd act at middle school

By Tanya Mitchell | Sep 07, 2012
Source: File image

Belfast — The woman who originally reported seeing a man touching himself inappropriately in a vehicle behind Troy Howard Middle School Wednesday, Aug. 29, has come forward and offered her statement to police.

Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden said he met with the witness Friday afternoon, Sept. 7.

"She showed us the exact location where the offense took place," said McFadden.

McFadden said the witness reported the man backed his vehicle into the woods but had backed off the trail slightly "to allow foot traffic to go around him."

McFadden said the information the woman provided would be sufficient to move ahead with criminal charges against the man.

During a telephone interview Monday, Sept. 10, McFadden said police have not charged the man, and did not anticipate charges being filed until later this week.

The woman was walking on the trails near Troy Howard Middle School at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, McFadden said, and noticed a vehicle was parked in the area of the athletic fields. After further investigation, McFadden said, the woman was able to see a man in the vehicle who was performing a lewd act on himself.

The woman then returned home and contacted a school employee to report the incident, McFadden said, but the school staffer did not obtain the woman's contact information before contacting police.

McFadden stressed that while the woman did nothing wrong, police needed more information from her for the purposes of the criminal investigation because she was the lone witness to the alleged incident.

This incident was particularly disturbing, McFadden said, because it occurred about 20 minutes before students would have arrived at the fields for athletic activities.

"She was a very good witness," said McFadden of the woman who reported the incident. "She saw everything we needed her to see, unfortunately.

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