SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — An Oregon man is accused of pulling down his mask at a store and kissing a toddler he did not know on the lips while the child’s mother was looking away, authorities said.
Austin Blake Stewart, 24, of Springfield, was charged with physical harassment and disorderly conduct, KEZI reported.
According to authorities, Stewart was inside a WinCo supermarket on Thursday, the television station reported. A woman was shopping with her 1 1/2-year-old daughter, who was sitting in a shopping cart.
Police said that while the child’s mother glanced away from her daughter, Stewart allegedly pulled down his mask and kissed the child on the lips, KEZI reported.
“The suspect leaned down, removed his mask and kissed (the) daughter on the lips and then departed,” the Springfield Police Department said in a news release it posted on Facebook. “The mother began searching for the suspect, but he had vanished. She alerted her husband and WinCo staff.”
The father of the child alerted authorities, and police later found Stewart hiding under a blanket, according to the news release.
Stewart was arrested and booked into the Springfield Municipal Jail, police said.
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