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Updated: Police Arrest Man in Fridley Wal-Mart Child-groping Case

Columbia Heights search led to arrest in Crystal.

Update (4 p.m.): The man arrested Friday in the Fridley Wal-mart child-groping case will not be charged until Tuesday, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

Sommer said officers from his department arrested the Columbia Heights resident without incident at his place of employment in Crystal.

According to the county website, he is now in the Anoka County jail.

Original post (3:40 p.m.): Police arrested a 29-year-old Columbia Heights man Friday on suspicion of Monday.

According to a statement from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Friday afternoon:

An arrest was made today ... in the sexual assault that took place at the Fridley Wal-Mart on 12-26-11. A search warrant was executed at a home in the City of Columbia Heights and a suspect was arrested in the City of Crystal by Detectives from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Investigation Division. After the widespread media attention the case received there were multiple calls from the public identifying possible suspects.

The suspect has been arrested and will be booked into the Anoka County Jail for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the second degree. It should be noted that the suspect has been arrested, BUT HAS NOT YET BEEN FORMALLY CHARGED. The suspect will be due in court no later than noon on Tuesday, January 3d, 2012 and the final decision on charges will rest with the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

The man arrested "has a criminal history that includes indecent exposure and similar groping incidents involving adult females," the statement said. 

The sheriff's office gave a home address for the suspect in the 4700 block of Fourth Street NE, Columbia Heights.

Editor's note: Fridley Patch doesn't generally name people arrested by police until they have been charged by prosecutors.

Sheila January 05, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I wonder why the child did not scream or say something to her mother at the time. My daughter as a teen had a problem with unwanted attention from two creeps (elderly women, at that) at our area Wal-Mart. My husband did not believe her, but I did, and I finally saw the creeps eyeing up my daughter as we stood in the check-out line. On another occasion a group of mannish-looking girls harassed us in the parking lot. ASAP I submitted a written complaint to the head of store security. I also told my daughter never to go anywhere in the store by herself. I also told her to walk to the customer service desk immediately if and when she encountered a suspicious person again. Children need to realize Wal-Mart and other stores, although family oriented, also are public places any sort of person can enter.
Kelli Dickinson January 21, 2012 at 10:15 AM
my daughter was horrified and scared. she was so scared that this man was going to find her and do it again that she wanted tocommit suicide-my 11 yr old. We just got papers today telling us that all he will recieve is 180 dyas in jaik and\or probation. he has a very startling history and clearly demonstraes he has no fear and will take this the next level. Why did they release him on bond let alone give him one. It seems so unfair that he has done this and worse to many others and gets to walk around free among the public. my daughter was right next to me and I am the one who feels like I did the bad thing. Parents are supposed to protect their children and i did not see this one coming he is that sly. He needs to be locked up somewhere and have a physc-sexual evaulation. He won't stop and the ery part is that the police and dectectives sau he is just warming up!!!! WARMING UP TO WHAT AND WHO!! If they know that again why is he out among the public? Why isn't he being charged for stalking as well? Why isn't the premeditattion bring the charge up? I don't want this to happen to anyone else!!!
Kelli Dickinson January 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM
My daughter let me know immediatley and we contacted the first store official we saw. i tryed to see over shelves for the guy by daughters discription. he was gone! we called the police we did everything we should have. We didn't know he was following us for the two hours we there. it was the day after Chrisrtmas and ther were alot of people there. I thought I was aware of my surroundings enough to notice that i guess not enough. I was angry with Wal-mart's security. they have all these cameras ans such, surely someone noticed he was following us before this took place. If they can track would be theives why not perverts and other wierd people. Isn't that part of their job too?? I don't know anymore. This shook us all real hard. Seems that the ball is being dropped in alot of areas despite all of my families pleas. Seems everyone wants to pass the blame for not noticing him too. Really he is the criminal but I think alot of injustice is happening too.

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