Man poses as police officer, exposes himself to woman in Coral Gables, police say

Police say man tried to steal security guard's phone, radio

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Police are searching for a man who they say was caught on camera impersonating a police officer and exposing himself to a woman in Coral Gables.

Surveillance video captured a man on a skateboard riding up to a security guard about 5 a.m. Sunday on Aurora Street.

"He simply strikes up a conversation, 'Where is the Metrorail?', and in her good nature, she's trying to assist him," Coral Gables police Officer Kelly Denham said.

Authorities said the man claimed to be a police officer and told the victim to turn around because he wanted to pat her down to make sure she didn't have any weapons on her.

The video appears to show the man unzipping his shorts after the woman turns around.

"She truly believed he was a police officer, even though he's dressed in (that) manner and on a skateboard," Denham said.

The victim and man struggled, and police said he tried to take her cellphone and radio, but the woman fought back.

"That's when she looks down and sees that he has exposed himself to her," Denham said.

Police said the victim ran away, and the man fled in the opposite direction, leaving the victim's phone and radio behind.

The man is believed to be between the age of 25 and 35. He is about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He has a muscular build, brown hair and eyes and a full beard.

Denham said anyone approached by who they believe is an undercover officer should ask to see the officer's badge and ID.

"If you feel uncomfortable, request that a marked police car come by to your location," Denham said. 

Anyone with information about the man's identity is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.