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Columbia police searching for man masturbating near school

Published On: Sep 11 2013 01:57:04 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 11 2013 02:25:28 PM CDT
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

Columbia police are searching for a man who has been spotted twice masturbating near two schools.

On Tuesday around 3 p.m., officers say two female teens walking home from school saw a white male in an SUV in the Bethel Park parking lot.

Bethel Park is located near both Gentry Middle and Rock Bridge High School.

The teens said the man was masturbating inside the SUV. They also said the man had his cellphone out and could have been taking photos of himself or the girls.

Police say a similar report was made on Aug. 30, when a Parks and Recreation Department park ranger was dispatched to the same park for a white male masturbating in the park.

The suspect in both cases is described as a white male in his early-to-mid 20s with dark hair. In the Sept. 10 incident, he was wearing a white t-shirt and in a "not new, but not very old" white SUV.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and investigators have contacted Columbia Public Schools about the incidents.

CPS officials sent a notice to parents and guardians Wednesday afternoon informing them of the alleged sexual misconduct.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Columbia Police Department's non-emergency line at 573-442-6131.

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