MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade police have released a new surveillance image of a man they say fondled a teen at the Dadeland Mall last month.
According to police, the boy was shopping with his family at JCPenney on the afternoon of Sunday, May 4th. While his mother was at the register, the 14-year old wandered away.
Detectives said a man approached the boy and struck up a conversation with him about places to eat and then his pants size.
“Asking him what size pants he wore because he was shopping for his son who appeared to be the same size as the victim,” said Detective Elena Hernandez.
While they talked, the man unbuttoned the boys pants, reached into them and molested him, according to police.
“He was able to get close enough to the victim where he was able to unbutton his pants reached in and he fondled the victim over his underwear,” said Hernandez.
The startled boy ran to a nearby store employee and told them what happened. He was able to describe the man to police who put out the sketch below.
“We have a predator on the loose and we don’t know what he’s capable of doing next time,” said Hernandez.
Police want parents to be alert and aware. They say keep the kids close and talk to them about how to protect themselves.
In the image the man appears to be casually exiting the JCPenney. It’s unclear if the surveillance image is before or after the crime.
Police said the man appears to be between 40 and 50 years old.
In response to the incident, mall management issued the following statement:
“We do not tolerate this type of behavior at Dadeland Mall. We are grateful for the swift response of the Miami-Dade Police Department and fully support their efforts. Any other inquiries should be directed to the Miami-Dade Police Department, as this matter is now under their investigation.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).