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Sex offender assaults girl in book store

May 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A convicted sex offender was back in jail Friday, charged with a new crime allegedly committed in a local book store. Arcadia police made a quick arrest thanks to a courageous civilian.A convicted sex offender was back in jail Friday, charged with a new crime allegedly committed in a local book store. Arcadia police made a quick arrest thanks to a courageous civilian.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch the accompanying video to this story.

A Good Samaritan in a white shirt is watching his own child when he notices suspicious behavior involving a man and a 5-year-old girl.

Sergeant Dean Caputo points out how an alleged molester seeks out his target.

"This is actually our Good Samaritan walking at that moment," said Sergeant Dean Caputo, Arcadia Police Dept.

A Good Samaritan in a white shirt is watching his own child when he notices suspicious behavior involving a man and 5-year-old girl.

Sgt. Caputo points out how an alleged molester seeks his target.

"This is our suspect with the red Polo shirt and the white T-shirt coming out from underneath," said Sgt. Caputo, pointing to a video screen. "You notice he looked over in this area. He's already picked the victim out, which is this little girl that's kneeling down."

The suspect chooses a busy place, the Borders bookstore at the Santa Anita Mall, last Saturday at 8:30 pm. He keeps coming back to one child even though there are adults and children everywhere. He is not deterred.

"He's using the book again to cover his activity. And he actually places his genitals on the girl. You can see her raise hands up. The suspect gets up and starts to run away, and [the Samaritan] ends up basically tackling him; they get into a struggle off-camera while he's trying to hold onto him. At that point, the manager of the book store comes over and stops the fight, thinking that it's just a fight," said Sgt. Caputo.

The suspect gets away, but the Good Samaritan persists. He searches the Web for registered sex offenders and finds a match: 33-year-old Jaime Elvis Elizondo from San Gabriel, who has a conviction for a similar offense.

With DNA evidence found at the scene, police arrest Elizondo. A speedy investigation, thanks to the Good Samaritan. The sergeant says there is a lesson here to everyone trying to protect children.

"At all times when you have a child, you can't even leave them alone, even in a public place where you think it's going to be safe," said Sgt. Caputo. "These predators are out there."

 

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