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Ithaca man charged with forcible touching, burglary after multiple incidents

The Ithaca Police Department reports the arrest of a 37-year-old on a number of charges after a series of reports throughout the south end of the city that an individual was harassing and exposing himself to female victims.

As the night progressed, the reports were escalating, according to police.

There were initial reports of the suspect following females around in a store and exposing himself, fleeing before police arrival. The suspect then went to another store where he entered a womens bathroom and grabbed a female occupant, refusing to let her go. The victim screamed, causing the suspect to flee.

The incidents culminated with a report of the suspect breaking into a residence and forcibly touching the resident before taking property and cash and fleeing the area on foot. The suspect entered another nearby residence, but quickly left without further incident in that case.

The suspect was identified by multiple victims as Will Rogers Howell Jr. He was located nearby the last residence he entered and taken into custody without incident. Howell was arraigned in Ithaca City Court and remanded to Tompkins County Jail awaiting his next court appearance.

He was charged with second-degree burglary, unlawful imprisonment, criminal mischief, public lewdness, forcible touching, and petit larceny.

At this time portions of the investigation are ongoing, and there are no further details available for release, according to police.

Anyone with information regarding these or related incidents is asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department.