Police Investigating Sexual Misconduct in Bethel Park

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is looking for a suspect in a sexual misconduct case that was reported Tuesday afternoon.

Police said two juvenile female victims reported a suspicious man masturbating in his car while they were walking home from school.

The description of the suspect is too vague to report, but his car is described as a white SUV.

Bethel Park is right next door to Ann Hawkins Gentry Middle School, and many parents use the parking lot to wait for their kids to get out of school.

When asked Wednesday, the majority of parents said they still feel safe with their kids in the lot. As a precaution, Columbia police did have an officer patrol the park Wednesday before school let out.

Even with the extra security, one parent said the incident still worries her.

"It's concerning that that occurred because a lot of young children come with parents, and people walking through the park to go home from high school or middle school might encounter that same situation," said Mary Ellen Degnan.

Tuesday's incident was the second report of a man masturbating in Bethel Park. The first report was made August 30.