WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — At first, Kristin Bryant didn’t think much of the man sitting inside a dark-colored PT Cruiser as she began her Wednesday morning walk on a Millennium Park trail near the DeVos Family Boat House in Walker.
“It’s typical for a lot of people to go there to have lunch,” she said.
But as she continued to walk with her service dog Elly, the former state corrections officer got a feeling something wasn’t right.
“I just felt really uncomfortable. The presence of someone,” Bryant told 24 Hour News 8.
The man in the PT Cruiser was out of the vehicle walking towards her with no pants on.
“It went beyond the shock factor of just having someone expose themselves to you. He kept coming towards me,” said Bryant.“His facial expression just looked very aggressive, very mean. His fists were clenched.”
Bryant saw park employees in the distance and started moving toward them.
With a medical condition that severely restricts her breathing, running was out of the question, and so was screaming. But she had her phone.
“And I thought oh, I’m getting a picture as fast as I can,” she said.
Bryant also called police, but the suspect took off before they arrived.
Bryant posted the man’s picture on social media, hoping someone can identify him. She says he appears to be in his 20s or 30s and weigh between 210 and 230 pounds.
While it’s the Walker Police Department’s case, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office has investigated similar incidents over the years.
Identifying suspects can be difficult. The key is a good witness description.
“And as much as we hate to ask this, keep your eyes on the guy,” said Sgt. Joel Roon with the sheriff’s office.
It’s a tough thing to do when most people’s first reaction is to look away.
“Once you’re in a safe location, keep an eye on them. Get a license plate. Get a good physical description. And relay that to the dispatcher over the phone,” advised Roon.
From a victim’s perspective, that can be easier said than done.
“Especially when the person is moving faster, and you’re either in the fight or flight mode,” Bryant added.
Grandville police said there was an indecent exposure report at a store inside RiverTown Crossings mall around 10 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators say it may be connected to the Millennium Park incident, which happened about an hour later.
The sheriff’s office continues to investigate another exposure case in Cascade Township last month.
Investigators are trying to figure out if the cases are connected.
Walker police have added additional patrols at the park, and seasonal ranger patrols by the sheriff’s office start this weekend.
Anyone with information about Wednesday’s incident is encouraged to call the Walker Police Department at 616.453.5441.