Pa. police officer who was caught masturbating in car says he was just trying to stay awake

BETHLEHEM — Bethlehem patrolman Glenn C. Woolard ended his night shift and was driving home Wednesday morning when he pulled down his shorts and exposed his genitals, according to court records.

A woman in a box truck was driving next to Woolard’s sedan as they both went south on Hamilton Boulevard in Lower Macungie Township and couldn’t believe what she saw. She told a state trooper that he was “waving it around” and fondling himself, court records say.

The woman gave the sedan’s license plate number to police, who went to Woolard’s house. At first, Woolard denied the accusation but shortly after he confessed, authorities said.

The 35-year-old patrolman admitted exposing himself Wednesday morning and also a week earlier in the parking lot of the Target store where a woman said he had his window down “as if he wanted to be seen,” the records say.

In his defense, Woolard allegedly told the trooper, he wasn’t doing it for sexual gratification. He was just trying to stay awake while driving home, court records say.

On Friday, authorities announced that Woolard, recently commended by Bethlehem officials for rushing into a burning home to save a life, was being suspended and charged with two counts of indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. After he was arraigned by District Judge Rod Beck, Woolard was released on his own recognizance.

“This is always a sad day for law enforcement when these kinds of things occur,” Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said at a news conference to announce charges. Martin was joined by Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez, Bethlehem Chief Mark DiLuzio and state police Lt. Jon Nederostek.

Woolard was suspended after Wednesday’s incident and will be facing further disciplinary action, which could include dismissal.

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