Tuesday, May 1, 2012 | 7:07 p.m.
A former student helped identify the Cimarron-Memorial High School teacher arrested last week in connection with reports of public masturbation, according to a police report released Tuesday.
Timothy D. Lawson, a 35-year-old Las Vegas resident, has been charged with one count of open or gross lewdness and one count of indecent exposure stemming from incidents in June 2011, according to a criminal complaint filed last month. He was a teacher and assistant wrestling coach at Cimarron-Memorial.
The arrest report indicates Metro Police began receiving reports late last year about a black man masturbating and urinating in public, often while attempting to catch the attention of passers-by.
Police said they had received 11 reports since December about a black man masturbating in public near Lake Mead and Rainbow boulevards, which is less than a mile from Cimarron-Memorial.
On March 8, police received two similar reports within an hour, the report states: At 10:30 a.m., a caller reported a black man masturbating near a bus stop at Torrey Pines and Vegas drives. An hour later, another caller reported a suspect wearing similar clothing masturbating in the 6500 block of West Lake Mead Boulevard. Those locations are within a mile of each other.
The second caller provided detectives with enough information to create a composite sketch of the suspect, according to the arrest report.
Later that day, another person reported seeing a black man “partially naked, masturbating while sitting on a block wall at Torrey Pines and Vegas Drive,” according to the arrest report.
As police investigated, they recalled a similar pattern of incidents in 2007, which led to Lawson’s arrest in connection with seven events, according to the arrest report.
“The court hearings resulted in all cases being associated together and Lawson pleading to two disorderly conduct charges with counseling,” the arrest report states.
In the meantime, the investigation revealed that a woman had reported seeing Lawson, her former teacher at Cimarron-Memorial, masturbating while she walked to work last June, according to the arrest report.
In early April, detectives interviewed the former student, who recalled seeing and saying “hello” to Lawson as she walked to work one June morning on Rainbow Boulevard, the arrest report states. The next day, the former student was walking to work in the same area when she saw Lawson masturbating in an alley.
The witness told detectives the incident was “disturbing because (Lawson) didn’t seem to be concerned she could see him and continued to masturbate,” according to the arrest report.
Detectives also interviewed Joe Caruso, principal of Cimarron-Memorial, who said school police only recently became aware of the 2007 charges against Lawson despite a background check during his hiring process, according to the arrest report.
Lawson was at home on paid leave at the time of his arrest Friday, but it’s unclear when he was put on leave. A School District official didn’t know the exact date when asked Tuesday.
Police contacted Lawson March 17 and questioned him about the string of incidents, in which he denied involvement, the arrest report states. During the interview, Lawson told detectives he was on suspension from the school district for “unknown reasons,” according to the arrest report.
Police issued an arrest warrant April 13 for Lawson. Metro’s sexual assault detail arrested him Friday at an undisclosed location.