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Girl, 11, assaulted in store while her mother shops

SHARE Girl, 11, assaulted in store while her mother shops

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Police searched for a man Monday who allegedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl at knifepoint at a Target store, shuffling her from aisle to aisle to avoid being seen by shoppers.

The alleged assault was captured by a surveillance camera at the suburban Charleston department store, beginning when the suspect started stalking the girl in the toy section, police said. He then assaulted the girl in the garden and men's clothing departments before she was freed, police said. At the time, her mother was shopping in another area.

"He started watching her real close in the toy section," said South Charleston Police Sgt. Stan Miller. "He was following her around the rest of the store."

Police Lt. H.S. Leishman said the suspect posed as a security guard Saturday night, told the girl he saw her steal something and ordered her to follow him. Then he pulled a knife and forced her into the garden department where he assaulted her. When too many shoppers walked into the area, he led her into the men's clothing department where he assaulted her again, Leishman said.