East Lyme Police are on the lookout for a man who allegedly exposed himself to an 11-year-old girl as she walked home from her school bus stop in Niantic on Wednesday.
"We live off East Pattagansett Road and halfway up our hill a car was waiting," said the girl's father, Jason Arruda. The driver spoke Spanish and told the girl he didn't speak much English but needed directions to New London. When she looked inside the vehicle, Arruda said, she saw the driver had his pants down around his knees and was masturbating.
"She was hysterical," Arruda said. "She ran."
Arruda, who was home at the time, said he and his daughter drove around Niantic to see if they could spot the vehicle. Although they weren't able to locate it, he said, they were able to narrow down the type of vehicle it was. At that point, Arruda said, they went to the East Lyme Police Department to report the incident.
Arruda's daughter described the man as about 40, Hispanic with a darker complexion, a grown out crewcut, and scruffy beard. He was reportedly driving a gray colored, early model car, along the lines of a Buick Century.
Fortunately, Arruda's daughter was unharmed but she was still too shaken to go to school today. Arruda said he has informed the school of the incident. Arruda has been sending emails to local media and posting about the event on Facebook to help spread the word.
"We're trying to go as public as we can, just to make everyone else aware of the situation," Arruda said. "I think it's something that should be taken very, very seriously. Hopefully, we get this guy caught as soon as possible."
Anyone with any information should contact the East Lyme Police Department at (860) 739-5900.