Man in minivan arrested for lewd conduct near West Seattle school

SEATTLE -- Penny Stone loves playing outside in her West Seattle neighborhood with her two boys, but lately it’s been tough.

“There is just that edge all the time.  Do we have second thoughts about coming to the park? Yeah,” said Stone.

In the last month and a half, there have been seven reports of men exposing themselves near schools.  The latest incident happened at 8:30 a.m. Friday near Chief Sealth High School, when a 17 year-old student caught a man in the act.

“She was about two blocks away from the school and she passed a van that was parked on the side of the street.  As she walked past she looked inside and saw a man masturbating.  She immediately ran to school, right to the principal’s office ,and reported it,” said Seattle police detective Mark Jamieson.

The principal called 911 and police arrived within minutes, arresting a 34 year-old man who was still parked in his van in the same spot in the 2400 block of SW Thistle St., police said.

“It’s scary because I come walking right by here all the time and I never expect anyone around the school to be doing sexual stuff.  That’s not right,” said student Angelica Solis.

Police aren’t sure yet if the man who was in this van is connected to any of the other recent flashings in West Seattle.  In three of the other incidents, the man was described being in a black four-door sedan wearing no pants.

With Halloween right around the corner, police said they plan to have plenty of officers on patrol and want parents and kids to be extra vigilant.

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