HOWELL — At what should have been a fun time at the movies last Friday, witnesses say a man could be seen committing a lewd act during a screening of "The Emoji Movie."

Police say a woman who was there with her children observed the man with his hand down his unbuttoned and unzipped pants during a Friday afternoon showing at the Xscape theater on Route 9. The man, witnesses told police, was sitting in the last row.

Witnesses described the man as being a "heavy set white male" in his 20s or 30s. He was wearing a white dress shirt and black pants. Howell police said the man was also wearing a yarmulke and had either a goatee or a beard.

When the theater's management was alerted to the situation, the man was escorted from the building. The woman called police to report the incident when she got home.

Police are asking anyone with information about the man to contact Detective Janet Benitez at 732-938-4575 ext. 2885 or email her at Information can also be submitted anonymously online.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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