Police arrested a man who was masturbating a few feet away from a young woman sitting in a parked car inside a downtown parking lot Saturday night.
At about 9:59 p.m., police received a 9-1-1 call from the woman, in her twenties, who said she was parked in City Parking Lot "C" at 491 Ramona St. and a man who had approached her car was standing about five feet away from her passenger side window with his pants around his ankles while he masturbated, looking at her. She immediately called 9-1-1 from her cell phone and stayed inside her car until officers arrived within minutes and detained 48-year-old Eric Alexander Edwards of San Leandro, police said. By the time the officers arrived, Edwards had pulled up his pants.
The woman said she had initially noticed Edwards sitting on a bench in Cogswell Plaza. Her car was on the east end of the parking lot, facing the plaza.
Police said she placed Edwards under private person's arrest for indecent exposure. He was subsequently booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one count of misdemeanor indecent exposure.
Detectives are investigating to see if the suspect may be tied to any other indecent
exposure incidents in surrounding communities. Police said they do not believe that Edwards is connected to an indecent exposure incident that occurred nearby, in the 400 block of Ramona Street, on Jan. 11, and there have been no other similar crimes in Palo Alto of which police are aware.
Anyone with information about this suspect or this incident is asked to call the police's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.