Man accused of trying to sexually assault girl inside Stater Bros. bathroom in Whittier

The girl screamed for help and store employees and customers rushed to save her, according to authorities.

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BySid Garcia via KABC logo
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 7:34PM
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According to investigators, the suspect - whose name has not yet been released - followed the girl into the bathroom, locked the door, and attempted to sexually assault her.

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- The man accused of sexually assaulting a girl in a bathroom at a Stater Bros. store in Whittier near Norwalk is due in court Tuesday, and investigators believe there may be more victims who haven't come forward.

The incident happened on Sunday at around 2 p.m.

According to investigators, the suspect - whose name has not yet been released - followed the girl into the bathroom, locked the door, and attempted to sexually assault her.

That's when the girl screamed for help and store employees and customers rushed to save her, according to authorities.

Investigators said store workers were able to get in the bathroom and detain the suspect until deputies arrived. Cellphone video captured the moment deputies took the suspect out of the store in handcuffs.

The girl was rushed to a local hospital where she received treatment. Her condition is unknown.

The suspect was ultimately arrested and booked at the Norwalk Sheriff's Station.

"Based on the nature of the offense, detectives believe there may be additional unidentified victims," read a statement issued by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. "Detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying any such victims."

One source told Eyewitness News the suspect was seen at a nearby department store following young women around, but he was chased away.

The suspect remains in custody and is being held on $250,000 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Stater Bros. Markets has since issued the following statement on the incident.

"Stater Bros. Markets is aware of an alleged sexual assault taking place at our Whittier location on Mulberry Dr. on Sunday, September 18, 2022. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement as they conduct their investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment at this time."

Meanwhile, anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact LASD's Special Victims Bureau toll free tip line at 877) 710-5273 or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org.