Chesterton Tribune



CPD: Man admits exposing self to CHS runners

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Charges are pending against a man who Chesterton Police said has admitted to exposing himself to members of the Chesterton High School girls track team as they were running practice after school.

Police Chief Dave Cincoski told the Chesterton Tribune today that the 20-year-old Chesterton resident was detained for questioning on Monday after several of the CHS runners, as well as a citizen, reported seeing a vehicle similar to one connected to an earlier incident.

The CPD has forwarded its report to the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and is asking that three counts of public indecency be filed against the man. Public indecency is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a term of up to a year in jail.

Although the man was not accused of actually exposing himself on Monday, he did admit to doing so to CHS runners on three previous occasions, Cincoski said: on the last day of cross country practice in October, on South Fifth Street; on Monday, Jan. 8, on South 14th Street, south of West Porter Ave., while driving a red Pontiac; and on Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the area of West Indiana Ave. and South 11th Street, while driving a blue Nissan.

The CPD released a report to the media on only the second of these incidents, the one on Jan. 8.

The break in the case came on Monday, when runners and a citizen in the area of South 12th Street and West Porter Ave. reported seeing a blue Nissan similar to the one driven in the Jan. 16 incident, Cincoski said. They duly reported the vehicle and a partial plate number to the CPD, and Lt. Joe Christian subsequently located the Nissan on the west side of town and followed it to the suspect’s residence.

The suspect was then detained at the CPD station, where CHS School Resource Officer Sgt. Chris Swickard conducted an interview, in the course of which the man admitted to “messing up and doing something stupid,” Cincoski said.

Since the second incident on Jan. 8, the CPD has been working closely with the Duneland Schools Athletic Department, the CHS girls track team and its coaches, the CHS administration, and Duneland Schools Director of Safety and Security Mike Kellems, Cincoski said. Daily running routes were provided to Swickard, who passed them on to the CPD Patrol Division, which then assigned officers to trail the runners. Swickard and Kellems also met with the runners themselves and their parents as well as liaised on a daily basis with the track coaches.

“After a concerted effort, we were able to bring this steadfastly to a conclusion,” Cincoski said. “I congratulate the Patrol Division, the SRO, and the coaches, athletes, and administrators at CHS who all had a role in bringing this case to resolution.”

Cincoski emphasized that the investigation is ongoing and officers continue to seek additional evidence in the case. He added that the CPD has outreached to other school districts but none has reported similar incidents.





Posted 1/30/2018




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