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Registered Ocean County Sex Offender Charged After Harassing Young Girls in Howell Target, TJ Maxx Stores

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by Christian Antunez

HOWELL-On May 9, 2018, Howell Township Police Department arrested 62-year old David F. Hohsfield of Columbus Avenue in Whiting and charged him with eight counts of harassment. The arrest comes after Hohsfield allegedly followed women and their daughters as young as 8 years old, around stores in Howell while purposely making sexually explicit and vulgar comments in their presence. Hohsfield, a Tier 3 registered sex offender according to the New Jersey State Police Sex Offender Internet Registry, was charged with one count of harassment per victim which are fourth degree crimes due to his status as a parolee.

On May 4, 2018 Howell Police responded to the Target in Howell where the female victims, a mother and her 12 year-old daughter, reported being followed around the store. At one point, the man later identified as Hohsfield, followed the 12 year-old female around the children’s swimsuit section. While she was being followed the man was making sexually explicit comments as he pretended to speak to someone on his Bluetooth cell phone earpiece. The girl notified her mother and they contacted security, however, Hohsfield had already left the store.

After learning of the incident via social media, another female victim reported a similar incident occurring at the TJMaxx store located in the adjoining shopping plaza as Target, also on May 4. The woman was accompanied by her 11 year-old daughter who heard Hohsfield making sexually explicit and vulgar comments in the same manner previously reported.

Two more incidents occurred on May 7 at WalMart and Target in Howell. In those cases the two females and their 12 and 8 year old daughters, who were at separate locations and are unknown to each other, were followed around the stores while Hohsfield engaged in similar conduct previously reported.

Howell Township Police Department and Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office are working together to find more victims who have not reported the incident to police and are asking they come forward by contacting Detective Sergeant Christian Antunez #243 at cantunez@howellpolice.org,Det. Janet Benitez #627 at jbenitez@howellpolice.org or by calling Howell Police headquarters at (732)938-4111.

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