A 6-year-old boy is recovering from a traumatizing attack inside a bathroom at McDonald’s in Florida on Thursday.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the child was sexually attacked by a stranger. Late Friday night, JSO Chief Mike Bruno announced that police arrested a homeless man in the attack. The man, who Bruno did not identify, is charged with capital sexual battery.
Chief Tom Hackney said the 6-year-old victim and his 7-year-old brother went into the bathroom together at McDonald's on Thursday evening.
When only the 7-year-old came out, police say their dad went into check on his other son.
That's when investigators say the suspect came out of a stall the child was in.
“We're confident something of a sexual nature did occur with the little boy,” Hackney said.
Police say the child's father quickly saw his son in that stall, adjusting his pants. He chased the suspect down Emerson Street, but the attacker got away, making this the second sexual attack on a local child in the last two weeks.
A witness called JSO at 4 p.m. and said a man matching the limited description police released was found in a dumpster.
The man was found with marijuana in his pocket and he was charged with misdemeanor possession, Bruno said.
Detectives put together a photo spread to show to the witness, who positively identified the man.
Last Monday, an 8-year-old girl was raped in Arlington. JSO said the attacks are not related.
“What’s happened is horrible and tragic to these little victims. But what can come out of this is that it won’t happen again," Hackney said.
Parents who eat at the McDonald’s say they’re going to keep a close eye on their kids from now on.
“It’s frightening, it’s absolutely frightening,” said Consuela Owens, a mother of two who frequents the McDonald’s with her kids. “It just hurts, he’s just hurting these kids’ lives, he's hurting these kids’ lives,” Owens said.
Action News spoke to a McDonald’s employee off-camera and said she’s never seen the suspect in restaurant before.
A spokesman for the fast-food chain said they will not release a statement about the incident since it’s a police investigation.
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