(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) — A Massachusetts woman said that a flasher “picked the wrong victim” after police released a video of her chasing down the man who indecently exposed himself in hopes of arresting him.
Aia Polansky, a 33-year-old single mother of three, was running in Cambridge, across the Charles River from Boston, on July 18 around 7:30 a.m. when she said a male jogger dropped his pants “all the way down to his knees” as she ran by him.
Polansky said she had a normal start to the day.
“I went out for a run. It was 6 a.m. in the morning. I was having a great day. I was listening to fantastic audio blog — enjoying a beautiful view of Boston. I was about 3 miles from where I live. Suddenly, I saw a guy pulling down his pants,” she recalled.
“I just realized, this is wrong and I’m going to get this guy,” said Polansky. “So I just did a quick U-turn, I was running pretty fast when he flashed his pants down. … I chased him down, I caught him and I was holding him. He did shake his hand off me the first time I caught him.”
“I said, ‘No, hell no!’ I chased this guy down. I want him to know that I’m not afraid of him,” she added.
Video released by Massachusetts State Police shows Polansky pursuing the man and attempting to physically detain him while calling for those nearby to contact police.
“I was asking people to call the police and ask for help,” she said. “Nobody did. I let my hand off him because I realized that nobody can help me out. I had to do it myself.”
Polansky, who stands at 6-foot-1, works as a personal trainer and served in the Israeli Army, according to Inside Edition, said that she managed to hold the man down between three to five minutes before he was able to make his escape.
“It was long enough for me to notice his brand new Apple watch, Air Pods, the fact that he looks like a completely — the professor, teacher right next door to you and this was just … very surprising to me,” she said.
Police described the suspect, who was last seen running down Amesbury Street, as a white male with a heavy build, short dark-colored hair, a receding hair line, wearing black and gray running clothes and black running shoes with white soles.
When asked what she was thinking in that moment Polansky said, “I just knew that if I’m not going to get this guy now then the next girl will be raped.”
“A lot of people went by. I did ask for help. I did ask [people to call] 911,” she said. “They did not really have to get involved. I was holding the guy. All they had to do was just call the police. They chose not to do that. They made a choice not to choose to help out. So that was challenging for me to realize that this was just me, myself and I in this situation and I have to help myself out.”
Polansky added, “I choose to be a strong person and not to be a victim in situations, and that’s what I’m trying to put out there.”
“My goal in actually putting myself out there … is to tell people make a choice not to be a victim. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in. Just make a choice that you’re not [a] dismissible human or creature who cannot handle life. No matter what it is,” she said.
When asked what message she would like to send the man she chased down, Polansky was clear: “I’m going to get you. I told you I’m going to get you. And as you see, big mistake. It was a stupid big mistake.”
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