COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – A Taylorsville man was arrested Sunday on molestation and attempted abduction charges in two separate incidents involving two different children at a department store, police said.
Jeffrey L. Brock, 43, faces preliminary charges of child molestation, sexual battery and battery.
A 7-year-old girl told police a man tried to pull her from Walmart’s shoe department after she briefly stepped a short distance away from her mother. It happened at the Walmart located at 735 Whitfield Drive in Columbus. Shortly after that attempt, Brock is seen on camera according to police sticking his hands down an 8-year-old girl’s pants as she stood five feet away from her parents. Shortly after the assault, surveillance video captures the girl’s parents and a customer tackling Brock down to the ground. The group held him there until police arrived.
Columbus Lt. Matt Myers told 24-Hour News 8, that the parents of the victims did nothing wrong in this case. In fact, he says in both cases the parents were just feet away from their children.
“It’s a reminder that there are sick people and we need to watch out for, and you can never put your guard down,” said Myers.
Police have decided not to release surveillance video of Brock being tackled to the ground by shoppers inside the store. 24-Hour News 8 did obtain pictures of Brock being taken out of a squad car with a torn tee-shirt. Shoppers near the Walmart were frustrated after hearing about the incidents inside the store.
“It’s really scary,” said Savannah Jones. “I have a little girl and she likes to run away from me in the stores and it is easy for someone to snatch her.”
Jones adds that in the future she will keep her daughter in the shopping cart while shopping.
Police have not determined if Brock may have done this before.