Woman who chased a flasher with Taser: 'It was instinct to get him'
Salem, Ore. -- A Salem woman chased after a man and attempted to use her Taser on him after he exposed himself Thursday night.
"It was just instinct to get him," Lisa Haecherl said, a stylist at a JC Penney salon in downtown Salem.
Haecherl carries a pink Taser with her everywhere she goes after she said she was the victim of another attack in downtown Salem eight years ago.
"I always just carry my Taser with me just to be safe," she said.
It came in handy this week.
Haecherl had left work and was walking the few blocks to where her car was parked, near the intersection of High and Division streets, when she noticed someone was following her. It was around 8 p.m. A few seconds after she got into her car and locked it, she said the man was right was up against her driver's side window, exposing himself.
"He literally slammed his full body up against my car so I couldn't see his face at all; he was completely shoved up against my car," she said. "It was bad enough that when the police saw it, you could see the scrape marks from his pants."
Haecherl said the man then just walked away. The whole experience, and especially his casual demeanor after the fact, infuriated Haecherl.
"Honestly, at that point, I was more angry than I was anything," she said.
So she grabbed her Taser.
"I got out of the vehicle, I yelled, 'Hey, come back here' and I had my Taser in my hand and he turned around," Haecherl said. "I thought for a minute maybe he would walk back, and I said 'I'm going to tase you.' I yelled some profanity at him and held down the button and he started running.'"
While the Taser did go off, she said the charge didn't hit the man.
Haecherl then said she chased after the guy on foot. When she didn't think she would be able to catch him, Haecherl got into her car and drove after the man. She said she ended up pinning the flasher between a nearby tire company and a fence. She said the man hopped the fence and got away.
Haecherl called police but the officers and a K-9 unit that arrived couldn't locate the man.
By the end of it all, Haecherl said she was mad she didn't get to use her Taser on the flasher.
"I think that maybe it would have been a good thing I didn't catch him cause I was so angry at this point that I probably would have held him down for quite a while," she said.
Haecherl told the On Your Side Investigators that she wasn't afraid to go after him because she was confident he didn't have a weapon.
"He was too busy covering his face and holding up his pants so I didn't really feel in any way in danger," she said.
Salem Police don't recommend chasing after a suspect since it can often be dangerous. Salem police Lt. Dave Okada said it's often better to call police and be a 'good witness.'
Police only have a vague description of the man, including that he was wearing dark clothes with a black hoodie tied tight around his face.
Okada says they're investigating this case as a possible connection to a series of groping cases that have spanned several months in Salem. However, Okada believes the man who exposed himself to Haecherl had a distinctly different method of operation than the groper, who is known to sneak up behind women while walking alone, grab them, and then run away.