On Friday, Oct. 7, at 8:42 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department went to Panera Bread, located at 501 Wilshire Boulevard in response to a report of a man who had been engaging in lewd conduct inside a vehicle that had been situated in the parking lot of the restaurant.
When they arrived at the scene, the officers detained a man in the parking lot, and began their investigation in order to uncover the details about what had occurred.
The officers spoke with the victim, as well as some witnesses, and from these conversations they learned that the man whom they had detained had entered the restaurant and had seated himself across from a group of females who were gathered together enjoying Panera Bread’s offerings.
The victim who had remained at the scene told the officers that this man had, after he had positioned himself opposite her and her friends, begun to masturbate, both under his clothing, as well as in a way that exposed his genitalia.
All the while that this man was doing this he was staring directly at the group of women.
The victim then said that they had notified the restaurant management of this behavior, and after they had done that, the man had stood up and had left the restaurant.
One of the employees had exited the restaurant and had located the man outside sitting in his vehicle, where he was seen to be continuing to pleasure himself.
The manager had then called 911 and the police had arrived shortly afterwards.
The man was identified by both the victim and the witness, and placed under a private person’s arrest.
The climax of this investigation occurred when the officers discovered that this 46-year-old resident of North Hollywood had several prior convictions for indecent exposure, was on parole, and was required to register as a sex offender.
The officers thus took him to jail where he was charged with indecent exposure, soliciting lewd acts, and a parole hold. Bail was not handed to him.
Editor's Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled "Alert Police Blotter" (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror's coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com.
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