Man exposes himself on Tobacco Trail in Durham


It happened in broad daylight - around 8:30 a.m. - off Legacy Lane.

Crawford Cutts said she was running on the American Tobacco Trail when he saw police officers.

"Some women who told me they were confronted with a man exposing himself. One of them said someone called the police and there were two police officers up there," Cutts said.

The suspect was described as a white male wearing only a small hat. He was described as approximately 6 feet tall and in his 30s.

Authorities said it wasn't the first time someone reported seeing a man exposing himself in thet area. Since last week, two other incidents have taken place.

On Oct. 23, a woman told police she was jogging on the trail between Woodcroft Parkway and Crooked Creek Parkway around 8:10 a.m. when a man approached her and asked for the time.

About 10 minutes later, the woman said the same man approached her, asked for the time and then exposed himself. Authorities were not able to locate him. The suspect was described as a white man in his early 40s, standing 6 feet 2 inches tall and wearing a black doo-rag, a black T-shirt and very short black shorts.

On Friday, a woman told officers she saw a nude man wearing only a red bandana over his head around 9:30 a.m. on the American Tobacco Trail between Fayetteville Street and Otis Street. He was described as a white man in his 30s with close-cut brown hair.

Trail runners Tracy Baker and Gwen Shapiro said they were aware of the incidents.

"But it didn't stop us from going on the trail because we have a dog," Baker said.

Shapiro said a couple of years ago, a suspicious man surprised her in the same area.

"He jumped out from the trail, probably about 300 feet from me," she recalled.

Shapiro had a dog then too.

" He went nuts, and started snarling, and the guy ran through the woods and was gone," Shapiro said.

It's not clear if all three incidents are related, but police now have information that could lead to an arrest.

In the meantime, additional Durham officers have been patrolling the trail.

Durham police officials are urging people to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity on or near the American Tobacco Trail. Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Wheeler at (919)560-4582, ext. 29370.

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