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Police seek other exposure victims

Man who allegedly harassed woman from his car may have done it before, police say.

September 21, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Police are searching for any possible victims of a 24-year-old man who was detained Sunday after allegedly masturbating in his car and shouting obscenities to a woman sitting on bus bench, officials said.

The woman, whose name wasn’t released, placed Narbe Safyani under citizen’s arrest Sunday after a police helicopter spotted him trying to flee the northwest Glendale area, according to Glendale police reports.

Officers stopped Safyani’s white Toyota Rav 4, and the woman positively identified him as the man who harassed her.

“It’s a crime and it’s assault and harassment,” said Christine Ward, director of the Crime Victims Assistance Network Foundation.

Police believe there may be other victims who haven’t reported similar assaults to detectives because they may be embarrassed, Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

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Safyani’s actions suggest he may have committed similar crimes in the past because repetition is common among offenders who have randomly exposed themselves and performed sexual acts in public, he added.

“This likely isn’t his first attempt at doing something like this,” Lorenz said.

The woman was sitting at a bus bench about 12:26 a.m. at San Fernando Road and Sonora Avenue, when Safyani allegedly drove along the curb to approach her, according to reports.

That’s when police say he rolled down his window and asked the woman if she needed a ride. She told him no because she was waiting for the bus.

Safyani allegedly returned a few minutes later. This time, the woman alleged that he appeared to be masturbating, but told police she didn’t see his genitalia.

She twice asked Safyani to leave her alone, but he continued, according to police reports.

He eventually drove away and she called police. Safyani was detained at San Fernando Road and Flower Street.

Women often don’t report indecent exposure incidents to police, Ward said, but they can be traumatic and have serious psychological implications for victims, she added.

Women who have been assaulted should report the incident and get counseling, Ward said.

Anyone who may have been a victim of similar indecent exposure incidents may call police at (818) 548-3106. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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