Authorities allege Saif Moussa tried to pull the girl to the store exit around 2 p.m. Saturday at the busy Aliso Viejo Town Center Mall.
"He placed her in a bear hug when she was reading a book, removed her about 20 to 25 feet, forcing her to leave against her will," Jim Amormino with the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities allege Moussa told the girl he planned to marry her.
"When she realized she was near the front door, she very bravely fought him off, broke away, ran to her father, who was inside the store. Her father happens to be an off duty Orange County Sheriff's deputy," said Amormino.
The girl's father detained Moussa until other deputies arrived.
According to documents, Moussa served time in 2007 for drug related convictions. He had just been released from jail this month after serving time for lewd conduct in a public place.
Moussa, who describes himself as a web designer, remains in jail on $100,000 bail. He's expected to appear in court Tuesday.
Authorities are concerned there may be other potential victims given the brazenness of the crime. Anyone with any information is asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.