North County man suspected of exposing self to women arrested

Austin Lee Harper arrested Friday morning

FALLBROOK, Calif. - A young North County man was jailed Friday on suspicion of repeatedly exposing himself to women as they walked through an open-space park near his home.

Austin Lee Harper, 20, allegedly flashed female pedestrians in Los Jilgueros Preserve in Fallbrook on five occasions between Dec. 10 and last Sunday, according to sheriff's officials.

Harper was one of several men questioned about the crimes as investigators sought to identify the perpetrator, Lt. Todd Richardson said. Deputies also made an unsuccessful attempt to catch the flasher via a decoy operation, the lieutenant said.

On Friday morning, detectives again contacted Harper regarding an unrelated trespassing case. While being questioned, the suspect allegedly revealed that he was aware of things that only the flasher would know, and also provided written evidence regarding the crimes, according to Richardson.

Harper was arrested and booked into Vista Jail on suspicion of four counts of indecent exposure and two counts of sexual battery. He also was expected to face a charge of molesting or annoying a child stemming from a Dec. 7 incident in which he allegedly bicycled up to a girl in the 1800 block of Gum Tree Lane in Fallbrook and grabbed her arm.

In that case, the assailant rode off when the victim screamed, Richardson said.

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