Hero ranger nabs park masturbator

A fearless ranger busted a masturbating pothead a few yards from a packed Prospect Park playground on Thursday — and then discovered an even-more–shocking naked truth: the man was packing additional heat in the form of a gun, according to cops.

Police officers arrested Glen Perouza, a 53-year-old from Queens, after parents said they spotted the self-gratifier near the Third Street Playground at 3:30 pm.

Park-goers reported the alleged pervert to ranger Andrew Marsala — who abandoned a guided tour he was leading for a group of kids to confront the alleged creep.

The brave woodsman apparently spooked Perouza, causing him to bolt — but the ranger then chased him down and held him until cops came.

Police officers said they found a bag of weed in Perouza’s pocket and that they later discovered a loaded 9mm Taurus handgun — which is strong enough to kill a small bear, and worth about $450 — in his possession. They then charged him with indecent exposure, possession of marijuana and weapons possession.

“Indecent exposure in the park is not uncommon … but [Marsala] potentially saved lives,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, which first reported the incident on its blog, A Walk in the Park. “This is very serious; crimes like this often go unreported.”

Perouza — a South Carolina transplant with no prior criminal record — could not be reached for comment on Friday. Apparently, he still had his hands full.

Meanwhile, park users were appalled.

“It doesn’t make me feel safe,” said Donnett Sampson, a babysitter who cares for two girls and a boy. “It feels dangerous. I’ve been taking my kids here since 2006 and never seen anything like this.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at [email protected] or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.