David F. Hohsfield, 62, of the Whiting section of Manchester Township (Ocean County) was arrested by the Howell Township Police on Wednesday, May 9, and charged with eight counts of harassment.
The charges against Hohsfield are fourth degree crimes due to his status as a Tier 3 sex offender on parole.
From the Howell PD’s announcement on facebook:
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.
Authorities are looking for other potential victims. Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Sergeant Christian Antunez #243 at [email protected], Det. Janet Benitez #627 at [email protected] or by calling Howell Police headquarters at (732)938-4111.
Those who wish to remain anonymous are urged to contact Monmouth County Crime Stoppers confidential telephone tip-line by calling 1-800-671-4400; can text “MONMOUTH” plus their tip to 274637; or, they can email a tip via the website at www.monmouthcountycrimestoppers.com. Monmouth County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest or conviction of criminals and fugitives.
Hohsfield is classified as a high risk for repeat offenses. He has three previous sex offense convictions; one for Sexual Assault and two for Endangering the Welfare of a Child. In each of his three convictions he approached his victims in public places and attempted to lure them into his car, according the NJ State Police Sex Offender Registry.
“Due to the nature of these incidents, we knew we had a dangerous person in our community. As such, it was our top priority to identify and apprehend this person. My officers did an outstanding job doing so. This quick resolution potentially prevented a more serious outcome to others,” said Howell Police Chief Andrew Kudrick, Jr.
If Hohsfield was a Monmouth County Freeholder who repeatedly made sexually explicit and vulgar comments, including to minors, he’d be getting off with a Censure and Reprimand and his colleagues would pose for pictures with him for distribution on the County social media sites and visitmonmouth.com