Portland police say they have identified a person of interest in connection with a series of reports last week about a man exposing himself to women in public in several southern Maine towns.

Portland police Lt. Robert Martin declined to say whether that person had been interviewed or if charges are pending.

“We have a person of interest and we’re continuing the investigation, trying to put it` together,” Martin said.

So far, police in three towns have said a man fitting a similar description approached women or girls in Portland, Sanford and Gorham, and made sexual advances, sexual comments or exposed himself. A fourth incident that happened in Scarborough is also under investigation, although in that incident a woman reported suspicious behavior, but the man involved is not accused of committing a crime.

The first incident happened Oct. 7, when a woman out for a morning jog on Brighton Avenue near Capisic Street in Portland reported that she was followed by a man in his 20s or 30s driving a rusty Chevrolet extended-cab pickup truck. The woman told police the man followed her for more than a mile and exposed his genitals to her from the vehicle. She described the driver as having dark hair that was kept in a ponytail or a bun.

The woman ran to the fire station on Stevens Avenue and reported the incident, and the man drove off, police said. The suspect was then involved in a minor car crash at the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot at 1412 Congress St., but did not stop.


Later the same day, police in Scarborough received a report that a man in a pickup truck approached a woman as she was entering the Marshalls store at 700 Gallery Blvd. and called out to her, said Scarborough Police Detective Sgt. Rick Rouse. The man had brown or blond hair in a ponytail, the woman said. The truck he was driving was black or other dark color.

The woman went into the store and watched as the man parked near a vehicle that seemed to resemble her own, Rouse said. When the woman left the store to go to her vehicle, the man in the pickup truck returned and called out to her again, Rouse said.

The conduct is not considered criminal, but the suspect is likely the same person involved in the earlier harassment incident in Portland, Rouse said.

The next series of incidents occurred on the University of Southern Maine Gorham campus, where two female students reported that a man exposed himself after calling each of them to his truck. The separate cases occurred within minutes of each other around 9:15 a.m. Oct. 10, campus police said.

The first encounter happened on University Way outside Corthell Hall. The second occurred minutes later on Campus Avenue near Philippi Hall, police said. USM police were in the area immediately after the incidents but were not able to find the man during a check of the campus and surrounding area, police said.

The victims involved in those incidents gave a description of the man and the truck that were similar to the other cases. They described the man as having dark slicked-back hair that may have been pulled into a bun, driving a dark colored Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck.


Police in Sanford are also investigating various incidents throughout the city that are believed to be connected. In those cases, Sanford police said they received multiple reports of a man who was making sexually inappropriate comments to women walking in various parts of the city.

Police there also responded to a report that a man with a similar physical description was seen touching himself in a sexual way at two Aroma Joe’s coffee stands, where he also attempted to gain entry to the drive-through businesses. Police said the man fled before police arrived, and no employees of the businesses were harmed.

In that case, the description of the man was similar to the other incidents, involving someone in his 20s or 30s with dark hair and a ponytail driving a dark or black-colored Chevrolet pickup truck.

Portland police said they also responded to an incident on Noyes Street Oct. 11 about 10 a.m. in which a man in a similar pickup truck approached two pre-teen girls and made inappropriate comments to them before the girls ran off and reported what happened.

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