East Lyme police seek man who approached child

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East Lyme — Police are looking for a dark-skinned man driving a gold car who appeared to be fondling himself in Niantic Wednesday while asking an 11-year-old girl for directions.

The girl said she was approached around 4:30 p.m. by the man, of unknown age, with short hair and an unshaven face, on East Pattagansett Road. The man, driving a tan or gold Buick Century-type vehicle, asked the girl for directions and appeared to be masturbating while doing so, police said. The girl ran from the scene, police said, and reported no injuries.

The girl is a student in the East Lyme public school system, Superintendent James Lombardo said in an email alerting parents Thursday of the incident.

"Please use this incident as an opportunity to discuss personal safety with your child," Lombardo wrote in the email. "Please remind your child not to approach strangers or unknown cars and to report any suspicious vehicles or activities."

Anyone with information is asked to contact East Lyme police at (860) 739-5900 or Troop E in Montville at (860) 848-6500.

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