9-year-old girl battered by stranger in Best Buy

Police say man taken into custody after assaulting girl in bathroom

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:09:40 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 24 2013 12:22:25 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Police are investigating the assault of a 9-year-old girl at the Best Buy on Southside Boulevard.

Police were called to the Best Buy store Friday around 5:30 p.m., after they say a customer caught a man assaulting the 9-year-old girl in the bathroom of the store.

The girl was at the Best Buy with her mother, when police said the girl was lured into the bathroom by a stranger.

Police said another customer of the store entered the bathroom and heard the child being battered.

The customer who entered the bathroom during the assault interjected in some way and alerted others in the store, according to police.

Store employees took the man out of the bathroom, who is believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s. He was later taken into custody by police.

"We have a good amount of video that shows the incident all the way up to the point where he and the young girl go into the bathroom, and to the point where store employees take him out and detain him for police," said Sgt. Jay Farhat of the JSO Homicide Unit.

The girl was taken to UF Health, where she was listed in stable condition. The child's mother is with the girl at the hospital.

"She's receiving medical treatment at this point in time, we're trying to determine the extent of her injuries," said Farhat. "We have the suspect downtown at the sheriff's office at this point in time, to begin being interviewed."

Police said it is obvious that there was serious intent by the suspect to do serious bodily harm to the child.

"We're not sure of any motive, we do not believe the suspect and victim know each other, however we're still investigating and hope to have more information later on this evening," said Farhat.

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