Fury erupted after police hunting Gimp Man dubbed him harmless.
Two young women have fled terrified after spotting the 6ft rubber rotter – clad head-to-toe in latex – in the street this week.
Police have stepped up patrols in a bid to unmask the freaky fiend believed to be behind 16 reported sightings in Somerset in the past four years.
READ MORE: Cops urged to catch the 6ft 'Gimp Man' terrorising locals before vigilantes find him
Locals are organising vigilante patrols to try and snare him.
But Avon and Somerset Police suggested the culprit had not caused any harm.
Insp Adam O’Loughlin said: "I can completely understand why seeing a man dressed that way would cause people to be extremely distressed.
"It is really important that people understand that this chap, in this particular incident in question, hasn't caused any harm to anyone or indicated he's going to."
He added it was not for him to draw conclusions as to the nature of the behaviour and to say what's unusual or what's normal or not’. Insp O’Loughlin said the most recent sighting was being treated as a public order incident.
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The suggestion Gimp Man’s appearances were harmless triggered internet outrage.
One wrote online: "People saying he/she haven't done anything, then why is it always in the cover of night and they jump out holding their groin and making bizarre sounds.
"I would definitely be scared."
Another said: "Before the last 'IT' movie came out, we had creepy clowns scaring the hell out of people at night in several cities around the country.
"This is worse. This guy would be in danger here.’’
"Are you joking?,’’ asked another.
"Okay, let's see how YOU react if you were to be confronted with this man late at night."
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One more wrote: "It's not normal to be sneaking around in a latex suit, in a creepy mask spooking people and making grunting noises. "I don't think you'd be so accepting if he popped up one right round yours!’’
"This would literally send me into cardiac arrest,’’ said another.
While another wrote: "Seeing this would absolutely terrify and for all those saying he/she/it is harmless, think again. Anyone that gets off on people’s fear is a very sick and twisted person indeed. I wonder what their (sic ) really hiding."
One amateur sleuth suggested talcum powder could snare the masked monster.
"Apparently, according to a friend, it takes a lot of talc to get in and out one of those suits," he said.
"Look for the guy clearing the shelves of Johnson's Baby Powder in the local village Spar shop."
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