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Woman runs from flasher in South Tampa

Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 04, 2017

A South Tampa woman says she fled from a man exposing himself in the parking lot of her South Tampa apartment. Police responded to the area near the intersection of South Howard Avenue and West Southview Avenue, but were unable to find the suspect Monday morning.

"If I would have been a second longer getting into my car I don't know what would have happened. But I don't think it would have ended well," the 23-year-old victim, who wished to stay anonymous, said. "Last night before bed, I just kept thinking about it. Every time I closed my eyes I just pictured him walking up to my car."

The victim says she was getting into her car around 6:30 a.m. when she saw the man approaching.

"When I first saw him walking, he was fully clothed. So I figured he was a neighbor walking to his car, or coming outside to get something, smoking a cigarette, I don't know," she said.

She says she got into her car and noticed him getting closer.

"He had his shirt in his hand and pants were around his knees. That's when he proceeded to touch himself and move closer," she recalled. "I actually had to think to myself, 'Is this actually happening? Am I really picturing this right now?'"

She says he was approaching the front of her car when he started to reach for the door handle.

"All I was thinking is, 'Is my door locked? Can he get in here right now?'"

That's when she says she took off down Southview Avenue toward South Howard Avenue. She says the the man followed her for a few seconds. When she turned onto Howard, she called police and her roommate.

She and her roommate are now carrying pepper spray when outside of their apartment. They hope the suspect is captured before he comes back or does the same thing to someone else.

"It's scary. I don't want it to happen to me and I don't want it to happen to anyone else." She said.

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