Nanaimo Mounties after man for indecent exposure

An indecent exposure incident near Nanaimo's Westwood Lake Park has triggered a public warning from the RCMP.

A man seen masturbating near Nanaimo’s Westwood Lake Park has triggered a public warning from the RCMP.

The incident happened Thursday in a neighbourhood near Westwood Lake. Police believe the same man might be responsible for prior similar incidents in the area.

A witness described the suspect as Caucasian, in his mid-30s or 40s, with a slim build and dark curly hair.

“We have several people of interest, but we haven’t made an arrest on that,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

Thousands of visitors swim in Westwood Lake and hike the park’s trails each year.

O’Brien said it is always best to run or hike with a friend. Be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on who is approach from in front of and behind you. If running to music it is best to keep MP3 players turned down low enough to hear someone approaching.

“If you’re confronted with a situation, leave the area immediately and contact the police,” O’Brien said.

Most importantly, be sure to report any suspicious occurrences to police immediately.

“You can’t sit on this information,” O’Brien said. “We need to know. The danger is you don’t know what this person’s motivation is. You don’t know if it’s for voyeurism or something else. The last thing we want to see is someone confronted by this person or the worst case is having small child exposed to something like, which could be a life-altering experience.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345, or contact Nanaimo Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.