Suspect in custody following indecent exposure on bike path in Utica

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published August 22, 2022

 William Benjamin Brown

William Benjamin Brown


UTICA — A suspect is in custody who police say was exposing himself to women on the bike path that connects Utica to Shelby Township and Sterling Heights.

Sean Coady, the Utica police chief, said that police are letting the community know of the incident in case someone else might have seen this occur prior to the suspect being arrested.

“We have arrested him after some good police work and want to get the story out to see (if) there are any other victims that may come forward,” he said via email.

According to police, a woman was jogging May 20 when a man passed her, turned around, matched her pace and then began masturbating while running after her. The woman ran to the Utica Police Department, but when officers ran out to pursue the man, the man was already gone.

Two months later, another woman was on the trail. She reportedly called 911 when she saw somebody hiding in the woods.

Sgt. Vince Ranelli found the suspect after the 911 call, and the suspect reportedly admitted to being on the trail two months earlier; however, he said that, at that time, he had to go to the bathroom really badly, according to police.

Utica police identified the suspect as William Benjamin Brown, 31, who they said has had multiple contacts with police for similar reports. He has been accused at least six different times since 2015 in Utica, Sterling Heights and Shelby Township, according to Utica police.

When investigators brought back the woman from the May incident and set out a photo lineup for her, she reportedly was able to pick Brown out of the lineup. The case against Brown was filed July 28.

Brown has been charged with aggravated indecent exposure by a sexually deviant person. Due to repeat offenses, he is facing up to life in prison, police said.

He was scheduled to have a preliminary examination Aug. 23, after press time, in 41-A District Court. Brown was being held in the Macomb County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

Brown’s attorney, Joshua Duane Jones, could not be reached for comment before press time.

Investigators ask that anyone with any information related to these incidents contact the Utica Police Department at (586) 731-2345.