Upper Makefield police today warned residents to “exercise caution while using the canal path” and asked for public help in light of a report about an individual who allegedly exposed himself and performed lewd acts along the Delaware Canal on Sunday morning.
Police describe the purported pervert as a white male, approximately 40-50 years old, with a medium build and mustache, long brown hair, wearing a green flannel jacket with dirty jeans or sweatpants, a “military-style” cap, and sunglasses. They say he was spotted along the canal path near the bridge at Route 532 in Washington Crossing at 10:30 a.m.
The incident raises unpleasant memories of similar episodes in 2010, around the time a female jogger was attacked on the canal path in Lambertville, NJ. On July 1 of that year, an unknown man severely beat a Lambertville woman as she jogged alongside the Delaware and Raritan Canal, but the case has never been solved.
Solebury Township Police two days later arrested Javier Aliel Lopez Marroquin, 26, of Hamilton, NJ and charged him with indecent exposure and open lewdness. According to police, Marroquin was observed exposing himself along the banks of the Delaware River near Route 32 and Aquetong Road at approximately 4 p.m. on July 3. Solebury Police had issued a warning just the day before that “over the past week incidents involving indecent exposure on the Pennsylvania side of the Towpath” had occurred.
Indeed, interviews with several law enforcement officials in 2010 revealed that exhibitionist acts along the canals on both sides of the Delaware River were not uncommon at the time, including Washington Crossing State Park and areas farther north in both states, and that those incidents were being considered as part of the Lambertville jogger investigation at the time.
An Upper Makefield police official said that Sunday’s incident is currently being treated as an unrelated event, but that they caution those using the canal to “exercise common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and use your best judgment to keep yourself safe.”
Solebury Township Police officials agree that “exercising caution in the area involved” is a good idea. Lambertville police say they’re going to look into the incident.
The Upper Makefield Township Police Department is asking residents to immediately report any suspicious people or activities along the canal path or Washington Crossing State Park to authorities at (215) 968-3020.