Cranston Police arrest Woonsocket man for breaking and entering and indecent exposure


Cranston Police arrested a Woonsocket man for breaking and entering and indecent exposure following a pair of incidents on Dec. 22.

According to a Cranston Police press release, officers arrested and charged Paul M. Sawyer, 35, of 283 Mowry St., Apt. 2, Woonsocket, for one count of Breaking and Entering and two counts of Indecent Exposure/Disorderly Conduct following two separate incidents a few hours apart during the early morning hours of Dec. 22.

Cranston Police said the first incident occurred at 1:38 a.m. Dec 22, when a female security guard was sitting in her security vehicle monitoring a warehouse facility on Plainfield Pike in Cranston.

The guard told police that a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan pull into the parking lot and the driver kept the engine running for about twenty minutes.

“Shortly thereafter, Sawyer exited the minivan nude and approached the female,” according to a Cranston Police press release. “The female victim drove away as Sawyer briefly chased after her and she called police, where Sawyer then fled. Several officers were unable to locate Sawyer as he fled the city.”

Cranston Police posted photos on their Facebook page following the Dec. 22 incidents.

They announced that they were searching for “a red minivan and a white naked male with a specific tattoo on his back.”

Police released still images from surveillance video, showing the distinctive tattoo.

According to police, the second incident occurred around 3:15 a.m., Dec. 22, on Gray Coach Lane. Cranston Police allege Sawyer returned to the city and gained entrance to a home, but was interrupted upon entering by the homeowner.

Cranston Police reported on their Facebook page that the second incident was reported by a “male victim with family.”

“He was awoken to someone saying hello inside of his home,” police wrote on their Facebook page. “ He observed a fully naked male walking towards a red minivan.”

Sawyer once again fled the area, according to a Cranston Police press release.

Cranston Police asked “anyone that knows the identity of this person” to contact Detective Lee Sohn at 401-942-2211 Ext. 5147.

Cranston Police received a tip shortly after the Facebook post and a media broadcast on the local evening news, regarding these two incidents and the suspect’s distinct information, according to a press release. Cranston Police Detectives traveled to Woonsocket to track down Sawyer, but could not locate him.

On Thursday, Dec. 23, Cranston Police Detectives arrested Sawyer and allegedly obtained a full confession, according to a press release.

Police said Sawyer has two previous arrests in 2015 for indecent exposure in Smithfield.

Sawyer was charged with one count of Breaking and Entering and two counts of Indecent Exposure/Disorderly Conduct, according to Cranston Police.

Sawyer was held at Cranston Police headquarters pending arraignment by a Justice of the Peace.

After his arraignment at police headquarters, Sawyer appeared in Third District Court, Kent County, for a formal arraignment, according to Cranston Police Maj. Todd Patalano.

The residents of Cranston can now rest easy that this matter is closed with an arrest and the person responsible is in custody,” Cranston Police said in a press release. “This was a team effort led by Cranston Police Detectives and the assistance of the Woonsocket Police, Smithfield Police, Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, Rhode Island Fusion Center, Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force and Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. Also, the important partnership with the local media who was able to broadcast the information which led to the suspect within minutes of airing.”


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