Sex offender arrested in sexual assault of 9-year-old in Edmonds grocery store

EDMONDS, Wash. — Oct. 4 update:

A man was arrested in the sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl at an Edmonds grocery store last month.

The 50-year-old North Bend man was taken into custody at his home Wednesday.

Surveillance images of the suspect from the store were released and police received more than 80 tips from the community. Two of the tips named a registered sex offender, and though the man in police booking photos looked different than the individual in the surveillance photos, Edmonds police visited the man's home to see if his appearance now matched the surveillance images.

The man was detained by officers and taken to the Edmonds Police Department to be interviewed by detectives.

Detectives say the man looked "strikingly similar" to the suspect in the store surveillance videos.

During the interview, the suspect denied being in Edmonds or the store on the date of the crime and throughout the interview spoke of his medical conditions that included strokes, migraines and seizures that caused memory lapses and confusion, according to police documents.

Though he maintained he had been in North Bend during the molestation, he said if it was him in the Ranch 99 store, and if he did touch the girl, he didn't do it intentionally, documents said.

Detectives said at the end of the interview, the suspect inferred it was possible it could have been him in the store, but that because of his memory issues, he did not remember it.

He was arrested for investigation of first-degree child molestation.

Sept. 21 update:

On Friday, Sept. 21, police released new images of the man suspected of sexually assaulting a young girl at an Edmonds grocery store last Saturday.

Police said a tip came in from a father who said the same man earlier reported on also tried to sexually assault his daughter, an hour after the originally reported incident.

That attempted sexual assault occurred at the H-Mart Store in Lynnwood, police said.

Police said in the video, the man is seen staring at people and clearly touching himself with his hands in his pockets.

The man has not yet been identified, police said.

New, better images of the suspect were released Friday by police. See those images above or at this link.

If you have information, please contact Edmonds Police.

Original story:

Edmonds Police are looking for a man who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 9-year-old girl inside the 99 Ranch Market around 4 p.m. Saturday in the 22600 block of Highway 99.

Sgt. Shane Hawley told KIRO 7 a mother was at the store with her two daughters earlier today. While the mother was shopping the two girls were roaming the store. At the same time a man began to follow the girls. At some point he cut off one of the girls, and reached down to grab her private area.

"It's clearly concerning to us and should be to everybody else. We don't see this very often, random stranger violence," Hawley said. "Sexual assault of a child by a random stranger in a public place is pretty uncommon. We want to figure out who this guy is and get him off the street. We consider him to be a great public safety concern."

The man ran out of the store very quickly, Hawley said the incident was over in a matter of seconds.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 50's or 60's with a possible goatee and wearing a blue shirt and dark shorts.

Hawley is asking for assistance in any other information that could lead to the identification of the man.

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