Employees in a Burien grocery store piled onto a man suspected of attacking an 11-year-old boy Saturday, holding the suspect until police arrived.
“The employees acted very quickly and did the right thing,” said King County Sheriff Steve Strachan. “They stopped what could have been every parent’s nightmare.”
The incident started shortly after noon in the Albertson’s store at 128th and 1st Avenue South, where the boy and his family were shopping. The boy went into the restroom, while his family waited for him at the store entrance, Strachan said.
The suspect followed the boy into the restroom and allegedly grabbed him by the neck, choking the youngster and leaving welts. As the boy struggled, the man pulled him into a stall and tried to remove his pants. “The boy was struggling and the stall doors are slamming open and shut,” Strachan said.
Employees heard the ruckus and came to investigate. They found the boy trying to squeeze through the door to the restroom while the man slammed it shut on his hands. As the boy broke loose, the man broke for the door, but the employees tackled him and called 9-11.
Burien Police and King County Sheriff’s deputies arrived quickly and took the man into custody. The incident is still under investigation, Strachan said.