9-year-old sexually assaulted in Fred Meyer toy aisle - KPTV - FOX 12

9-year-old sexually assaulted in Fred Meyer toy aisle

Posted: Updated: Oct 12, 2012 06:30 AM

A man believed to have sexually assaulted a little girl inside of a Fred Meyer store is on the run, and police are asking for the public's help to track him down. 

The Dalles Police Department says this all happened at the local Fred Meyer back in May, but they are just now releasing surveillance photos of the suspect. 

Officers say they haven't released this information before now because they kept getting leads and were hesitant to give away any evidence they had on the suspect.

"Her safety is gone, her confidence is gone and she's scared to go anywhere by herself," said the victim's grandmother, Pat Williams.

Williams says she let her granddaughter play in the toy aisle of Fred Meyer while she finished up her own grocery shopping. 

That's when, she says, the suspect approached the victim, and asked her to try on a "Dora the Explorer life jacket" because he wanted to see if it would fit his own granddaughter.

When the victim tried on the jacket, the suspect touched her inappropriately and tried to grab her. Fortunately, the little girl was able to run away, according to Williams.

"When she saw me she just ran hell bent for leather to grab me, and started pulling me out of the store," said Williams. "I asked what happened, and she was sobbing."

Police say since that day, they've been searching everywhere for the suspect, but have turned up empty-handed. 

They're releasing surveillance photos of the suspect in hopes someone knows something about who he is.

"Having him off the streets would help my granddaughter to know he is caught and being punished, it would give her safety back," said Williams.

Employees at the Fred Meyer are being provided a description of the suspect and are being told to keep an eye out for the suspect.

If you have information, call the Dalles Police Department at 541-296-2613.

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