After allegedly masturbating in public, he knocked on doors asking to use a phone


A 37-year-old homeless man was arrested Wednesday night after he allegedly exposed himself and masturbated in an intersection near an entrance to Lake Padden.

Nathan Russell Pridgen was booked into the Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of indecent exposure.

Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies were sent around 4:40 p.m. Wednesday to check on a report of a man exposing himself and masturbating near the intersection of Samish Way and Yew Street, according to chief criminal deputy Doug Chadwick.

The caller told deputies she drove past the suspect, who was described as a white man wearing an Army-style jacket, dark shorts and dark shoes, Chadwick said.

Deputies checked the area but were unable to find the man, Chadwick said.

A short time later, several nearby residents told authorities a man had knocked on their doors asking to borrow their phones. Residents told deputies the man appeared to be on drugs and wasn’t making sense, Chadwick said, adding the description given to the deputies matched that of the masturbating suspect.

Deputies found Pridgen, who was allegedly belligerent and confused. He told deputies he had consumed a large amount of cocaine and heroin, Chadwick said.

Chadwick said Prigden is not believed to be connected to the numerous lewd conduct incidents near Western Washington University and surrounding neighborhoods over several months last year – his age, time of day, and location do not match.

Pridgen has previous felony convictions for forgery, theft, assault, violating a protection order and interfering with domestic violence reporting, according to Whatcom County Superior Court records.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt