June 16, 2019

Holden police detain suspect in underwear cases

HOLDEN – A man suspected of trying to talk his way into homes in order to get access to elderly women’s underwear may have been showing deviant behavior, but in Holden he hadn’t broken the law, said a police official in that town, where two residents contacted police about the suspicious activity.

“The deviant behavior that this man displayed might be a moral affront but there is no legal violation,” Sgt. Gene Fizell of the Holden Police Department said Wednesday night.

That may not be the case in neighboring Brewer where police said that circumstances were different and that they are looking into whether charges could stem from an incident in that city.

“We’re still investigating whether there will be criminal charges from this,” Brewer police Sgt. David Lord said Wednesday night.

Police have identified a 29-year-old man who they suspect has been trying to get inside homes of senior citizens and who for weeks had eluded efforts to find him. Authorities were concerned not only about what he had been doing, but that he might become violent, Fizell acknowledged.

The man was taken into custody in Holden on a driver’s license violation Wednesday afternoon, about 10 minutes after a Clewleyville Road woman called police, concerned about a suspicious man who had approached her asking to use her bathroom.

She refused to let him in, and she gave police the man’s license plate number and a description.

The situation was familiar to Fizell who one day earlier had taken a similar report, although the resident had delayed reporting it for about half an hour. Fizell also had been in contact with Brewer police where similar reports were filed. He said as many as a half dozen reports may have been filed in the last few weeks.

In both Holden cases, the man apparently claimed to be lost and in need of using a bathroom. On South Road on Tuesday, the man pressed the woman to let him in.

“He pressured her very hard to let him into the house and use the bathroom,” Fizell said.

The woman told him to leave and eventually he did, but not before telling her that he wanted her underwear, Fizell said.

After his arrest, photographs were taken of the man and will be shown to the women for positive identification. Although the man denied even visiting the homes in recent days, the descriptions given of him and that of his car were enough to convince police they have the right man.

The man may not face charges in Holden, but Fizell said that residents should get some sense of closure from it, and that police have identified the man and will be on the lookout for him.

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