RYE, N.Y. - The Rye Police Department has launched an extensive investigation into a “lewdness incident” that saw a predator approach two teenage girls in his car while inappropriately touching himself.
At approximately 4 p.m. on Monday, two 13-year-old girls reported that a man pulled up to them in a Honda sedan at the intersection of Cowles Avenue and Intervale Place in Rye, asking for directions toward Boston Post Road.
According to police, the girls did not notice anything suspicious initially, until they realized that he was following them and masturbating. The teenagers ran north on Cowles Avenue, away from the suspect, who turned left onto Intervale Place and fled.
The suspect is described as a white male in his late 20s, with short dark hair that may have a red tint to it, an unshaven face and five o’clock shadow. He was wearing a light blue T-shirt and jeans when he approached the girls, who noted that he had crooked teeth and needed braces, helping police narrow their search. He spoke clear English with no accent.
When describing the vehicle, the girls noted a white spoiler on the rear of the trunk and black pin striping on the side. They called the car, “tricked out.”
In a letter to parents, Schools Superintendent Brian Monahan assured them that there would be extra patrols in the area of the schools on Tuesday as an added precaution for students.
Rye Police Commissioner Michael Corcoran, Jr. praised the teenagers for thinking quickly under pressure while maintaining their safety, noting that their descriptions will help move the investigation along swiftly.
“These young ladies did exactly what a young person should do, observe, run away and immediately contact police,” he said in a statement. “In today’s day and age, there is no reason that an adult should be asking a child for directions, wanting to show or offer them a puppy, give them candy, offer them money, offer them a train ride or anything else on a public street.
“These are always red flags, cause for concern and warrant immediate notification to police.”
The investigation into Monday’s incident is ongoing. Anyone with information can contact the Rye Police Department at (914) 967-1234 and request the Detective Division. Tips can also be provided anonymously by calling the Tip Line at (914) 760-4243.