SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A 19-year-old Aspen Court man is charged with harassment and lewdness after allegedly trying to give several female teenage lifeguards an unwanted “foot massage,” police said Monday.
According to police, Lawrence Malapitan, 19, of Monmouth Junction was arrested by Franklin Township detectives at his Aspen Court home on Aug. 3 and was charged with harassment, defiant trespass and lewdness after detectives received the latest in a string of complaints in Franklin and South Brunswick accusing him of offering foot massages to several teenage female lifeguards in the two towns since June.
Franklin Police Sgt. Philip Rizzo said the events started 8:43 a.m. on the morning of June 30 when a female resident of Sapphire Lane in Franklin Park called police to report getting a strange note on the windshield of her car.
The note, written in pencil and signed “Lives In The Neighborhood,” indicated that the writer wanted to give a foot massage to the female resident, Rizzo said.
Police logged the note as evidence.
In July, police received “several” complaints of a man going into various pools in the Society Hill developments in Franklin Township and offering foot massages to female lifeguards.
The man, described as being an Asian male that was short, stocky, unshaven and wearing glasses, always left the scene before police arrived, and information on him was limited, Sgt. Rizzo said.
Detectives finally got a break in the case at 11 a.m. on July 24 when police responded to another call at the Society Hill II pool on Fisher Drive.
Investigators were able to link the incidents to Malapitan, and visited the South Brunswick resident at his home, Rizzo said.
Detectives advised him that he was not welcome at the pools, which are on private property, and told him to no longer offer the foot massages, Rizzo said.
South Brunswick police were called at noon on Aug. 3 about a suspicious incident at the Nassau Square Clubhouse pool off of Route 27.
South Brunswick Capt. Jim Ryan said that the officers arrived and spoke with a teenage female lifeguard that reported being on duty at the pool when a man fitting Malapitan’s description, and that she did not know from the area, stopped by and sat down next to her.
According to Ryan, Malapitan allegedly reached over and began to massage her feet, telling her he was starting a foot massage company.
The lifeguard told him to stop and she was going to call the police, he then left the pool.
Before he drove away, however, the lifeguard used her cell phone to take a picture of his car.
She told police that the same man had tried the same thing about three weeks earlier and stopped after she told him to.
She said she did not report the initial incident because she just thought it was “weird,” Ryan said.
Shortly after that incident, Franklin police were called to the Society Hill pool on Pear Tree Lane in Franklin Park for yet another incident, Sgt. Rizzo said.
The female lifeguard reported that Malapitan allegedly approached her and started asking her “strange questions.”
Once she learned that he did not have a pass for the pool, she asked him to leave, Rizzo said.
Before leaving, Malapitan allegedly offered her a foot massage.
As the Franklin officers were taking the report from the lifeguard, they were made aware of the incident in South Brunswick moments before.
Rizzo said Franklin detectives immediately responded to Malapitan’s home where he was eventually taken into custody without incident.
He was charged by Franklin police and lodged at the Somerset County Jail in lieu of $2,500 cash bail, Rizzo said.
South Brunswick detectives were then able to link him to the Nassau Clubhouse incident and also charged him with harassment and issued him a complaint on that charge.