Surveillance of suspect released after teen molested at Dadeland - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Surveillance of suspect released after teen molested at Dadeland Mall

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KENDALL, Fla. -- Police are hoping recently-released surveillance video will help them capture a man they said molested a 14-year-old boy at a South Florida mall.

The footage shows the subject leaving a J.C. Penney at Dadeland Mall on May 4. He is seen wearing a white T-shirt, red shorts and flip-flops.

According to Miami-Dade Police, the subject approached and began chatting with a 14-year-old boy who was wandering around the department store while his mother was at the register. Investigators said the man asked the teen his pant size, and told him he was shopping for his own son, who had a similar body type.

Police said, during their conversation, the subject began to unbutton the boy's pants and fondle him. "The subject did approach the victim close enough where he was able to unbutton his pants and reached in and fondled his genitals over his underwear," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Elena Hernandez, a few days after the incident.

Shoppers are outraged over the incident. "That's crazy to think that you're not even safe, and it's such a big mall that has such heavy surveillance," said Liz Sappia.

"J.C. Penney is a big enough store that they should be able to have the type of security that's necessary," said shopper Chris Buckhout. "To hear about something like that is just unacceptable."

The startled teen ran to report the incident to a sales associate, but the subject had already exited the store, leaving behind crisp surveillance images. "They should find him," said former mall employee Taylor Pelaez. "They have a picture here of him so clearly."

Police had originally released a sketch and a surveillance still of the suspect, earlier in the investigation.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of this man, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.


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