- A man dressed head-to-toe in a dark bodysuit was arrested on Tuesday after approaching a teenager.
- The victim told the BBC the ‘gimp’ was “unpredictable, flopping to the floor, writhing and grunting.”
- There have been 16 reports of a similar nature since 2019, The Times reports.
A man covered in mud, wearing blue latex gloves, and a head-to-toe dark bodysuit was arrested on Tuesday for causing a public nuisance.
Speaking to BBC News, a 19-year-old witness, who asked not to be named, described his “freaky” encounter with a man in a “gimp suit” in the countryside village of Cleeve, southwest England, in the early hours of Tuesday.
He said he initially thought the man was drunk based on his movements. The man was “unpredictable, flopping to the floor, writhing, and grunting,” the teenager told BBC News.
The teenager said the man “took a step up on the pavement, arched his body, and flopped to the ground, without putting his hands out to catch himself” after approaching him and his friend, according to BBC News.
“I don’t want this guy to be seen as a bogeyman… but this kind of thing, this invisible threat that he could be anywhere… it’s indirectly causing fear,” the teenager told BBC News.
—BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) October 28, 2022
The man, said to be in his 30s, has been released on bail under the conditions that he must remain at home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and present to a police officer on request, BBC News said.
A statement from Avon and Somerset Police said: “No one has been physically harmed during any of these incidents but we know they have caused concern to the local community, and we are determined to identify the individual or individuals responsible and stop them.”
The recent sighting was not an isolated event. Since 2019, more than 16 reports have been made of a similar nature, The Times reported.
Speaking to the newspaper, Kiera Elston, a teaching assistant, shared her encounter in June with c
“It was the most terrifying experience,” she said. “I’ve got the image in my head of him walking towards me and staring. I dread to think what would have happened if I’d been on my own.”
Another victim told The Times that the man approached her “touching his groin, grunting and breathing heavily.”
The Times also reported that a photograph of the culprit was taken in 2019. That year, two men were arrested on suspicion of indecency, but no one was charged.
Avon and Somerset Police said it was “keeping an open mind about the intentions of the man and whether the incident is linked to any others.”