Police searching for man accused of exposing himself to teens, young women
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) —
The search is on for a man accused of exposing himself to teenage girls and women in Columbus’ Southfield neighborhood.
Police said 21-year-old Rashad Barbour is wanted for four counts of public indecency. The first incident happened in December 2016, Barbour allegedly approached women or teens and exposed himself.
Carrie Mitchell's shock turned to concern after thinking of her grandchildren and the other kids in the area.
"We didn't grow up like this in neighborhoods like this where we had to watch our backs."
Police are concerned because in at least two cases, children were either present or the victim of the alleged flashing.
A lot of children live in the neighborhood. It’s something Patricia Coleman noticed.
"There's a lot of kids on three corners that catch the school bus early in the morning."
One of the incidents happened January 10 in the area of Faber Avenue at Key Place. According to a police report, a teenage girl was on her way to school when Barbour started a conversation asking questions like "are you a virgin?" and trying to get her phone number before eventually exposing himself.
Stories like that were enough to make contractor Samuel Battle angry.
"I'm afraid if it would happen to some of my people and I ran into him, it would be all bad and I have to go to alter right away."
Older people aren't the only ones outraged by the alleged crimes.
"That's just a bad influence on kids our age,” said Mickail Perry.
The teen has actually seen and interacted with the suspect in the past and is surprised by the accusations.
"I would never see Rashad doing something like that."
Most of the cases were within walking distance of each other. County court records showed the suspects listed address near the alleged crimes. Neighbors said no one lives in the home.
"This never happened out here. It's pretty quiet out here,” said Patricia Coleman.
She lives near one of the other reported incidents on the 2800 block of Key Place. In that incident, the suspect asked a homeowner if he could rake her leaves. After the homeowner said yes and closed her door, the suspect knocked again exposed himself. Now Coleman is on alert.
"I will keep my eye out on him."
Police are asking anyone with information on the whereabouts of Barbour to contact Det. Benham in CPD's Special Victims Bureau at 645-2438 or by email.