Pismo Beach is a place one Central Valley woman (who asked to remain anonymous) and her family come frequently to cool off from the hot valley temperatures.
That routine might be changing after a traumatizing encounter Thursday afternoon.
“I went to a little Fillipino store so I could get sticky rice and as I was walking back, I was carrying my little bag of rice and walking along and I heard someone ask me for directions,” the woman explained.
She says a man driving a silver Jetta asked her to point him in the direction of the Blue Dolphin Inn.
“I turned back to look at him and say: “I’m sorry I don’t know where that is” and right when I turned to answer him, that’s when I realized he had his pants down. He was also wearing what looked like female, very lacy underwear and he was exposing himself to me.”
The woman says it took a while after the exposure to calm down.
“I think it took me and hour to stop shaking because I was so upset and shaken by the whole situation. [On the walk back to my hotel] I started to look at every single man and wondered “Are you gonna do it? Are you gonna do it?” I mean your mind goes to that place and it’s a terrible thing because I was trying to be helpful.”
Pismo Beach Police say this man has turned himself in after they made contact with him Friday morning.
They are now actively working with departments in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties to try to see if there are any more victims.
Now that the Pismo Beach Police are involved, the woman is worried about the possibility of other people being victims as this man had an Uber and Lyft sticker on the back of his car.
“You know I feel especially worried about women being in these circumstances where they’re trying to get a ride. For me, it makes me never want to take those kinds of services unless I’m with my husband.”
The Pismo Beach Police Department is still trying to confirm if this man was an active Uber and Lyft driver, but they can confirm that the car was registered to him.
Sgt. Detective Dan Herlihy says crimes like these are pretty rare for the city. He recommends if you are using a ride sharing app, to ride in pairs and not to get overly intoxicated if you’re getting into someone’s car that you’re unfamiliar with so you’re able to be more aware of your surroundings.