Expert worries serial flasher may start touching victims

Expert worries serial flasher may start touching victims
Police released this sketch of the suspect on Wednesday.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A forensic psychologist worries a serial flasher in Northeast Portland, who police say has exposed himself to women and children at least a dozen times in the last two months, could escalate his actions by touching his victims.

“If it happens, it tends to happen when just this kind of behavior ceases to give them the rush, the excitement, that sense of power and control that they need,” forensic psychologist Frank Colistro said.

Colistro added that the crime is a form of bullying by someone who tends to be socially inadequate.

“It’s their feeble way of experiencing power, sexual power and control in particular, which they don't experience any other way most of the time.”

Colistro believes the flasher lives in one of the Northeast Portland neighborhoods where he’s been operating because that’s what the man will know best. He also feels confident the serial flasher will be caught sooner than later, especially now that the public is so aware of what’s happening.

“Even though he knows he’s under a lot of scrutiny, he’s going to keep doing it because it has a real addictive quality,” Colistro said. “He’s going to make a mistake.”

During a Monday night meeting organized by the Alameda Neighborhood Association, several women who asked not to be identified described encounters with the flasher.

“He was wearing white shirt, sneakers and nothin' else,” said one woman who was running when the man confronted her. “He's in the middle of the street, and once he's on the sidewalk, comes running up behind us, makes himself known to us, we turn and look at him, he's there. He's not wearing a facemask. He looks a little different than what you have in your picture.”

Another woman said, “He was running when I saw him the first time and he came back. And he does talk to you. He doesn't mind having a conversation.”

Lt. Larry Graham of the Portland Police Bureau urged the crowd of more than 60 people to be good witnesses, “To see a vehicle or get a good description or see which direction they go. So that's what we're really asking you to do is be the very best witnesses we can so we can catch this person and put an end to it.”