A jogger last week in Cambridge abruptly pulled a 180 to chase down a man who she said had exposed himself as the two crossed paths along Memorial Drive.
Massachusetts State Police are looking to identify the alleged flasher, who escaped after being caught and briefly detained by the jogger, a 6-foot-1 mother and former Israeli soldier who gave only her first name, Aia, to reporters.
"I told him I'm going to get him: 'I'm going to get you, darling!'" Aia recalled to reporters Wednesday after footage of the incident gained attention across social media.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
She said the suspect actually flashed her twice — the first time she assumed it was unintentional, she said, but once she saw him expose himself a second time, she knew it was on purpose. So she took off after him.
"It was not his lucky day — because I decided to chase him down," she said.
On surveillance footage released by police, Aia can be seen jogging along Memorial Drive near Vassar Street around 7:30 a.m. July 18 and passing by a man walking in the other direction. Aia appears to react almost instantly, pulling a U-turn, quickly overtaking the fleeing suspect and physically detaining him.
"When I was holding him down, he was terrified," Aia said. "He was really, really scared."
"I think she put the fear of God in him," a state police spokesman said. Though state police officially urge people to call 911 or find a nearby police officer — not to take matters into their own hands by chasing someone down on their own — police said they don’t fault Aia for acting as she did in this case.
Meanwhile, Aia said she had no regrets about chasing down the man.
"Hell no," she said. "I was not ready to see his little [expletive]. I'm not doing that no. Just no. It's not right."
She said that during the brief time she had the man detained, she was shouting at passersby and asking them to call police — but no one pulled out their phones. It was when Aia reached for her own phone to call police, she said, that the man got away and fled the area down Amesbury Street.
She regrets that no one nearby stopped to offer help.
"Where I come from and how I grew up, we don't just walk by. We don't just ignore it … I have a daughter, and it could be my daughter next to him — and she's not going to be that," Aia said. "If you want to call it bravery for what I did, yeah, it's for the ones after me.
A surveillance image provides a closer view of the suspect, who has a heavy build and short, dark, receding hair. The man was wearing black and gray running clothing and black running shoes with white soles. Aia described him as probably in his 40s.
Anyone with information on the man or incident is urged to contact state police at 617-727-6780.