Mom confronts man who groped 8-year-old girl in Target toy aisle, California cops say

A stranger talked “briefly” to an 8-year-old girl Friday night in a Target toy aisle, then grabbed her chest from behind, police in Redlands, California, say.

Now, police say they have made an arrest in the case.

The child’s mother confronted the man, who denied doing anything wrong and fled the store about 7:30 p.m., police wrote in a release posted to Facebook. He drove off in a silver Honda Accord.

On Sunday, police posted store security photos of the accused man and his car to Facebook seeking tips leading to his arrest.

The man had gone directly to the toy section after entering the 27320 W. Lugonia Avenue store in Redlands, southeast of San Bernardino, the post reads.

Officers later arrested Alex Francisco Chavez, 25, of Hesperia, California, KABC reported.

Chavez, who also faces charges of exposing himself to teenage girls outside a Hesperia school in February, is being held on $500,000 bail, according to the station.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.