Man arrested after TikToker claims she was stalked at Burbank Barnes & Noble store

Amy Powell Image
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Man arrested after woman claims she was stalked at Burbank bookstore
Police arrested a man for allegedly invading a Burbank bookstore customer's privacy, prompting an investigation for potential additional victims.

BURBANK, Calif. (KABC) -- Police arrested a man Friday for allegedly invading a Burbank bookstore customer's privacy, prompting an investigation for potential additional victims.

According to the Burbank Police Department, detectives were informed about alleged inappropriate actions that occurred on Monday after video footage circulated on social media, and the victim went directly to the police to report the matter.

"The incident was reported directly to the Burbank Police and has been under investigation," according to a department statement. "The incident was captured on video and viewed as an invasion of privacy. Investigators are also aware of the potential victims."

According to Michaela Witter, a TikToker with more than 65,000 followers, she was stalked by a man at a Barnes & Noble.

Witter hosts a TikTok series catering primarily to women called "Solo Dates" that showcases activities people can do alone in their spare time.

"It felt like anywhere I moved, he kept following me," Witter told Eyewitness News. She said she began recording the man "in case he was trying to say something or do anything to me.''

A video still image captured the moment when the man crouched down near Witter's legs.

When Witter asked the man what he was doing, he told her that he was tying his shoes. She said it looked like he was smelling her from behind.

When Witter looked at her video she saw the same man approach another woman.

"He'll crouch down, pretend like he's looking at something on one of the shelves, turn and then it looks like he's smelling her," Witter said.

Witter reported the situation to the police and posted the video to her TikTok account and other social media platforms.

"He was literally like a foot away from me. Underneath me," she said. "It was really disturbing to watch back."

Police arrested the suspect, 36-year-old Calese Crowder, in Glendale.

Investigators say Crowder has a long history of peeping, prowling and residential burglaries dating back to 2011.

Witter's video caught the eye of former Los Angeles Lakers great Robert Horry. Horry, currently a Lakers analyst on Spectrum Sports, posted a message saying the suspect once stalked his stepdaughter.

"This man stalked my teenage daughter at our home over 10 years ago," Horry's wife Candice wrote on social media. "He went to jail only to come out and continue the same behavior."

Crowder has been arrested multiple times and served eight years in prison.

Witter is relieved to hear the suspect is in custody.

"Maybe we can go in those areas and feel safe again knowing that he's at least arrested," she said.

Since posting the video, Witter says she's heard from about two dozen women who say they've had similar encounters involving the same man.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information was urged to contact the Burbank Police Department at 818-238-3000.

City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.