GROVE CITY (KDKA) — Police in Mercer County have charged a man who they say tried to restrain a boy inside of a public bathroom in a local Walmart.
The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the store on West Main Street in Grove City.
The suspect was captured on surveillance video inside of the business.
Late Friday morning, police said they had identified the man as 27-year-old Shawn Michael Miller of Grove City.
“Walmart has exceptionally good video,” said Lt. Tom Dubovi, of Pennsylvania State Police. “We were able to get still pictures from the video and get it out to the media last night.”
According to state police, the 9-year-old victim was washing his hands in the restroom when Miller reportedly approached him from behind, grabbed him around the waist and tried to pull him into one of the stalls.
The boy was able to free himself, but the police say Miller grabbed him a second time and began pulling him back again. The boy began to scream, and the suspect let him go.
State police say the boy then ran away and found his father, who had just left the same restroom prior to the incident with the victim’s 6-year-old brother, nearby.
Police say Miller managed to escape from the store and ran into a wooded area at the back of the business.
Although, according to the police criminal complaint, Miller says the boy got “mouthy” with him in the bathroom and that he admitted to dragging the boy into the stall, but intended to hit him.
Miller tells police that the boy’s father later confronted him outside the store in the parking lot, but he just got on his bike and rode away.
Police took Miller into custody around 8 a.m. Friday. He has been charged with unlawful restraint and simple assault.
“Once we had the information on who he was, we were able to go this morning and pick him up for an interview,” said Lt. Dubovi.
Police say they received a number of tips and information leading them to his home in Grove City.