Police: Woman helped officers catch public masturbator

Updated:

SEATTLE —

Though she wanted to flee, a woman who became the target of a man who was openly masturbating next to her car on a Belltown street stayed put until police could arrive and arrest the man, according to a Seattle police report.

 On Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., the woman was talking to a friend on her cellphone as she sat in her parked car in the 500 block of Lenora Street in Seattle.

 As she talked, she noticed a man standing next to a portable toilet and assumed he was urinating.  Eventually, she realized the man was masturbating while looking directly at her, a police report said.

 When the man, identified as 30-year-old Steven Carl Clouse, realized the woman saw him, he walked up to the passenger side front fender of her car and positioned himself so she could see him through the windshield as he thrusted his pelvis forward, police documents said.

 The woman said her first instinct was to drive away, but then thought she needed to stay there to ensure police found and dealt with the man.

 She called 911 and waited about 10 minutes for patrol officers to respond. During that time, Clouse continued his sexual activity in full view of the victim, stopping only when he noticed a passing person, officers said. During those instances, Clouse moved next to the portable toilet and pretended to be urinating, police said.

 When officers arrived, the victim pointed out Clouse to officers, and he was arrested on charges of indecent exposure.

 Clouse denied the incident and said he only was attempting to urinate on the locked portable toilet.

 Charges were filed against Clouse on Nov. 13.

 Clouse’s criminal history shows he was convicted of indecent exposure in Federal Way in 2006.  Conviction on that offense is a basis for elevating his current charge to a felony, according to prosecutors.

  He also has convictions for reckless endangerment, driving with a suspended license, fourth-degree assault, malicious mischief, taking a vehicle without permission, and making a false statement to a public servant.

Clouse, whose last known address is in Auburn, is out on bail.