On Thursday, Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun held a news conference at the corner of Webster Street and Petit Avenue in Merrick regarding an "indecent exposure" incident that occurred at the cross street just days before.
On Aug. 10, at approximately 7 p.m., a 9-year-old girl was riding her bike to her grandmother's house when she was saw a man sitting on what appeared to be an electric bike at the corner of Petit and Webster. When the suspect intentionally exposed himself to the girl and "touched himself inappropriately," LeBrun said, she turned around to go home and tell her parents.
Two minutes later, the girl's sister, also 9, saw the same man while riding home from the grandmother's house. When she attempted to ride past him, the suspect lunged at her, grabbed her shoulders and attempted to pull her pants down. The girl yelled at the man, and was able to get away and ride home to her parents.
The girls' mother indicated that both her daughters gave the same description of the suspect. "He was wearing red pants, had long dark hair, was on a black bike with chunky wheels, and had a mask on," she said. "As I’m on the phone making a 911 call, there’s already police up and down the block looking for this guy."
LeBrun described the suspect as a white male of medium build, and approximately 25 to 27-years-old. At the time of the incident, he was riding a 27-inch black bike with "fatter tires," and wearing a black shirt, red pants, white sneakers and a surgical mask.
Members of NCPD's First Squad and Community Affairs unit canvased the area Thursday afternoon to inform residents of the incident and collect information that could lead to potential leads. Each officer carried a flyer featuring a photo of the suspect, which was captured from a Ring Doorbell.
"We’re imploring the Merrick community to go back into their video cameras, their home surveillance, their Ring Doorbells — even before Aug. 10 — to look and see what [they] have," LeBrun said. "If it matches the description of this individual riding the bike, please contact us as soon as you can. We want to make sure we apprehended this individual as soon as possible."
"We’re trying to keep it in the media, because even if it takes a month or a year to find this guy, kids need to know that it’s okay to talk to your parents about this," the girls' mother said. "And when things do happen, find an adult."
The girls' father added, "We’re gonna do everything in our power to get him off the street — whatever it takes."
Police are asking anyone with information to call the First Squad at (516) 573-6153 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.