Crime

Off-duty detective catches flasher at Silver Lake Park

An off-duty detective camping at Silver Lake Park detained another camper who was exposing himself to young children, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

A 49-year-old mother camping July 25 at the park near Maple Falls reported that a man — later identified as 41-year-old Brandon C. Crabtree — opened his long coat, exposed his genitals, and walked toward her and her seven children, ages 8-17, at around 11 a.m, according to the sheriff’s office.

The woman got her children inside a car and returned them to her campsite. She sought out Whatcom County Sheriff’s Detective Mark Wright, who she knew was camping nearby, and told him what happened, according to the sheriff’s office. Wright told her to drive to Maple Falls and call 911 because there was limited cellphone service at the campsite.

In the meantime, Wright decided to look for the flasher. He found him that same morning and learned Crabtree was camping with friends nearby, the sheriff’s office said.

Wright identified himself as a detective to Crabtree and asked him about the mother’s report that he exposed himself, according to the sheriff’s office. Crabtree, still wearing the long coat, was not surprised by the accusation, and explained that his zipper was down and he exposed himself on accident. Wright detained Crabtree until on-duty deputies arrived and took over.

Later, another woman, 37, told deputies that Crabtree exposed himself to her family, the sheriff’s office said.

Crabtree, of Everson, was arrested for indecent exposure July 25.

Reach Wilson Criscione at 360-756-2803 or wilson.criscione@bellinghamherald.com.

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