Toronto

Women post on Facebook to warn of sexual predator in High Park neighbourhoods

Women are warning each other on Facebook about a man who has been indecently exposing himself at night in neighbourhoods around High Park.

Toronto police tell women to get a description, photograph, licence plate number

Women are warning each other on Facebook about a sexual predator in the neighbourhoods around High Park. (CBC)

Women are warning each other on Facebook about a man who has been indecently exposing himself at night in neighbourhoods around High Park.

In one incident, the man reportedly used a small red car to prowl around in search of women. He then parked his car on a side street, got out of the car, pretended to jog, stripped naked, covered his face, then laid down on a lawn and began masturbating.

Incidents have been reported in Bloor West Village, near Armadale Avenue and Nelles Avenue, and in West Bend, on Indian Road near Glenlake Avenue.

Toronto police are urging women to get a description of the man, and if possible, a photograph and a licence plate number. Posting on social media is not enough, they said.

Laila Grants, a west end Toronto resident, said she has seen the man twice in the past two months, both times around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m., and she posted about it on a Facebook community group on the weekend.

According to her Facebook post, Grants said she had gotten off the subway at Jane station and was walking home with a friend when she saw a small red car with squeaky axles turn a corner without signalling. The man looked at her as he drove by. Then he turned the car around and parked on a side street.

The man, wearing shorts and a hoodie, pretended to jog. He undressed himself, covered his face with something, and started masturbating. 

"It's shocking that he hasn't been caught," Grants said.

"I want him taken off the streets so I don't have to deal with it and other people don't have to see it because it's very disturbing to see."

This is a still image taken from a cellphone video of the sexual predator lying down on a lawn in August. Laila Grants took the video and tried to take it without him noticing. (Provided by Laila Grants)

Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said there are no recent reports on file about the man, although police are aware of reports on Facebook.

"Posting it on social media is not helping police in this matter because we actually need that police report before we can start actively following up," she said.

Sidhu, however, had some advice for women victimized by this man.

"If you're a safe distance away, get a good description of this person as well as a photograph, if you can," Sidhu said.

"And then, if they're in a vehicle, get that licence plate. Police need to be aware that an incident like this is happening in a particular place so we can follow up and investigate thoroughly."

Grants describes the man as white, maybe six-feet to six-feet-four inches, and in his late 30s to 50s.

With files from Ali Chiasson