PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania police officer says he spent much of December and January dressed as an Amish woman in hopes of scaring off a man suspected of exposing himself to Amish children.
Pulaski Township Sgt. Chad Adams said Tuesday that police weren't able to charge the man because of a lack of evidence.
But Adams said the flasher hasn't been seen in Pulaski in Lawrence County since around the same time a man was sentenced to house arrest in January for similar behavior in neighboring Mercer County. Police believe that man is the same one who was flashing the Amish children.
Still, Adams felt it was important to publicize his undercover assignment on the police department's Facebook page, if only to deter the suspect or others in the future.
"Sometimes being a police officer means going undercover and doing what you have to do to catch the bad guy," Adams wrote in a caption for a photo showing him in a blue dress, black cloak and bonnet.
Pulaski is about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Adams was assisted by a female officer from nearby Wampum, who also dressed in Amish garb.
The Amish didn't want their children to testify in court and agreed to lend police the women's bonnets, aprons and dresses to catch or scare away the suspect.
Adams said the Amish were "not at all" concerned about his cross-dressing methods, despite their conservative beliefs.
"I wondered that myself, but I asked and they were all for it," the sergeant said. "They didn't want this man around here. They didn't want this to continue."
Adams said the suspect, whose car was seen in the area but who was never caught in the act of exposing himself in Pulaski Township, is due to be released from house arrest soon.