Crime

Puget neighborhood resident finds man masturbating outside their window

What to do if you see a peeper or flasher

Sgt. Claudia Murphy, who supervises the Bellingham Police Department’s Family Crimes Unit, offers advice on what to do if you see a peeper or flasher. She advises residents to call 911 right away and to get a good description of the suspect.
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Sgt. Claudia Murphy, who supervises the Bellingham Police Department’s Family Crimes Unit, offers advice on what to do if you see a peeper or flasher. She advises residents to call 911 right away and to get a good description of the suspect.

A Puget neighborhood resident reportedly found a man masturbating outside the window of the resident’s roommate and held him on the ground until Bellingham police arrived to arrest him.

Kris Michael Jabonski, 49, was booked Monday, Sept. 9, into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of indecent exposure and voyeurism. Jail records show he was released on $5,000 bail later that day.

The indecent exposure charge is a Class C felony, Lt. Claudia Murphy told The Bellingham Herald, because Jablonski was previously arrested and convicted for the same crime in 2014.

Murphy said officers responded at approximately 1 a.m. Monday to the 1400 block of Moore Street after the victim saw Jablonski hunching outside their window, looking in with his pants down.

The victim reportedly told their roommate and both ran outside. The roommate told police they saw Jablonski masturbating in front of the window and confronted him, resulting in an argument that turned physical.

Police also responded to another report of a man looking through a window at 12:49 a.m. nearby in the 1000 block of York Street, according to the department’s incident log. Murphy said the suspect’s description generally matched Jablonski, but he was not identified by the victim in that incident and no indecent exposure was witnessed.

Though these incidents occurred in a different neighborhood from a series of voyeurism incidents the past two years in the York neighborhood around Western Washington University’s move-in weekend (Sept. 20-22) and the start of classes (Sept. 25), it should serve as a reminder to all residents to remain vigilant as daylight gets shorter.

“We do not recommend going outside to call out to, chase or otherwise engage the suspect,” a 2018 Bellingham Police release about voyeurism incidents said. “Make the call to 911 and, if it can be safely done from inside the house, watch which way the suspect runs.”

According to the release, voyeurism cases have historically been under-reported, due in part to victims not wanting to bother law enforcement or not being sure of what just happened.

“However, voyeurism is a serious crime — it has the potential for the suspect to get more and more daring, thereby increasing the danger level for future victims,” the press release said.

If you believe you are a victim voyeurism incident, police ask you call 911 or the station officer at 360-778-8800.

Police also suggest the following safeguards to protect your home from a voyeur:

▪ Close and lock all windows.

▪ Close curtains and tilt blinds to an angle to prevent viewing from outside.

▪ Turn off inside lights.

▪ Turn on porch lights.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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