Police are warning parents to be on guard no matter the time of day after a Virginia man was arrested for allegedly touching an 8-year-old inside a donut shop.
The incident occurred Thursday at around 1:45 p.m., when 56-year-old James Michael Concannon entered a Williamsburg Dunkin’ Donuts, WTKR reports.
A mother and father were also visiting the busy store with their two daughters, ages 15 and 8.
And while the dad was outside, Concannon started speaking to the girls. He allegedly asked them where they lived and gave them a dollar each.
The man supposedly wrote the 15-year-old a note on a napkin that read, “Always believe in yourself,” and asked her questions about her parents’ relationship.
At some point inside the busy store, Concannon allegedly touched the 8-year-old child’s chest over her clothing.
A witness spotted the alleged inappropriate touching and contacted police. Officers were located just a short distance away and were able to arrive at the store within minutes.
Concannon was found just outside the Dunkin’ Donuts, where he was arrested on charges of aggravated sexual battery, sexual battery, and public intoxication, according to WAVY.
The children’s father, who does not wish to be identified, said that he believes the man was attempting to lure his children away.
A Williamsburg police officer told WTKR that parents should always be on the lookout:
“It can happen anywhere. Be aware of your surroundings. Call police, we’re here to help, and we’ll get there as fast as we can and handle the situation.”
According to 2017 statistics from the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), 24 percent of kidnappings involve children being taken by strangers.
Children are most likely to be abducted outdoors on the street or lured to the kidnapper’s vehicle.
Parents are encouraged never to leave their children alone in public places, to have an ID photo taken every six months, and to monitor children’s internet use, among other safety precautions.
Concannon will appear in court on July 12.