A man was arrested after being caught following women around and sniffing them at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in California.
About the incident: Michaela Witter (@michaela.witter), who has been filming herself going on “100 solo dates” for TikTok, accidentally captured the prolific stalker.
On day 20 of her self-love journey, Witter visited a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Burbank, where she had a strange encounter with a man — now identified as 36-year-old Calese Crowder — who appeared to be smelling her from behind.
“The ugly side of doing things solo as a woman even in an open public space,” the caption of Witter’s TikTok video reads. “Stalking, harassment, etc. has happened to me way too many times but this definitely ranks top 3 creepiest moments.”
In the clip, which has already garnered over 2.5 million views, Crowder can be seen crouching near Witter’s legs. When the 28-year-old content creator asks him what he is doing, he says he is tying his shoes. Crowder can also be seen approaching another woman in the bookstore to do the same thing.
“I was so freaked out when I saw him literally under me so freaking close to me,” Witter says before reporting the man to a staff member.
Unearthing similar attacks: In the comment section of Witter’s video, which was uploaded on Aug. 8, many viewers mentioned similar attacks they experienced in the area. Others came forward claiming that they have also been harassed by Crowder.
“Bro that same man was crouching behind me and following me thru Marshalls today,” wrote TikTok user @nkaywalker.
“Girlll I just found this he was following me and my bestie in Ross and we told the security and then ran to our car. We were scared to get trafficked,” wrote TikTok user @mastermel.
TikTok user @artofetherealty notably provided footage of her encounter with Crowder crouching down by her legs at the same Barnes & Noble bookstore in March.
“When I posted the first TikTok about it, it was disturbing to hear how many women have experienced something similar to what happened to me,” Witter told In The Know.
“But then to hear how many women were affected by this man specifically was even more shocking. It’s just so horrible that we can’t even feel safe going somewhere like a bookstore by ourselves. I have heard from women about their interactions with him in Barnes & Noble, Urban Outfitters, Marshalls, Gap, Trader Joe’s, Target, you name it. He has done this a lot and is still roaming free. I really hope that from this, the police or someone can do something to keep him from doing this to more women or even worse.”
Crowder’s history of peeping and prowling: Witter’s video caught the attention of former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Robert Horry, who said that the same man had stalked his stepdaughter in the past.
“This man stalked my then 14-year-old step-daughter over 13 years ago,” Horry shared. “He terrorized my family for months until he was arrested and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He is back in the area doing the exact same thing.”
According to Glendale police, Crowder has a long history of peeping, prowling and residential burglaries dating back to 2011. The convicted stalker has been arrested multiple times and has served eight years in prison. Crowder is also believed to be the same man who was peeping and prowling at a Glendale home last weekend.
Investigation: Crowder, who appeared in court on Monday for suspicion of peeping and prowling, was reportedly ordered to serve 60 days in county jail for a separate case. He was ordered to take sexual impulse classes and to return to court on Sept. 14.
The Barnes & Noble incident remains under investigation. Those with information and anyone who believes they were also victimized by Crowder are urged to contact the Burbank Police Department at 818-238-3000.