The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 14, 2014

Police: Man grabbed boy in store

PINE TOWNSHIP — A Grove City man who initially escaped from authorities has been arrested for reportedly grabbing a 9-year-old boy in the bathroom of the Pine Township Wal-Mart Thursday afternoon.

Shawn Michael Miller, 27, is in Mercer County Jail on charges of unlawful restraint of a minor and simple assault. He was arraigned Friday by District Judge Brian Arthur, Greenville, and taken to jail after failing to post $100,000 bond.

His preliminary hearing is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday with District Judge D. Neil McEwen, Pine Township.

The boy managed to escape from the bathroom unharmed, and Miller ran from the store into a wooded area, state police said.

Photos of Miller taken from Wal-Mart’s surveillance cameras were released to the media, leading to tips about his whereabouts being called in to the police; he was arrested at home Friday morning and interviewed at the Jackson Township police station, where a brief news conference was held before Miller was taken to Arthur’s courtroom.

According to the report issued Thursday night by state police:

Miller observed a father with his two sons, ages 6 and 9, enter the store bathroom at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

When the father exited the bathroom with the younger boy, Miller entered the bathroom, where the 9-year-old was washing his hands.

He approached the boy from behind, grabbed him around the waist and pulled him into a stall, shutting the door.

The boy was able to free himself and exit the stall, but Miller grabbed him again and pulled him back into the stall. The boy began screaming for his father and Miller let the child go.

The boy ran from the bathroom and found his father nearby, while Miller fled from the bathroom and headed for the exit at the front of the store.

He ran off into a wooded area toward the rear of the store and was not immediately found after a search conducted by state troopers and Grove City police.

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