MESA, AZ — A man has been arrested after police say he groped an 8-year-old girl at a Mesa Wal-Mart Saturday.
Police say 56-year-old Alan Hammer approached the girl while she was pushing a shopping cart down an aisle and whispered “come with me” as he inappropriately grabbed her.
The girl’s mother was farther down the aisle and witnessed the man approach her daughter but could not see what he was doing. She quickly approached and the suspect walked away.
A few minutes later, police say Hammer once again approached the girl and grabbed her. The mom intervened again and asked the man to leave them alone.
A witness got a partial license plate of the man’s vehicle as he left the parking lot.
Another mother also came forward and said that Hammer was following her and her daughter in the Wal-Mart as well.
After a photo was released on social media, a person contacted police and said they recognized Hammer at a nearby Target store.
Surveillance video showed the suspect stalking a group of four young girls throughout the store. Video was able to capture the suspect’s license plate number, and he was identified through his MVD photo.
Hammer denied any inappropriate contact with any of the children, and said it’s common for him to bump into people and physically move people while “shopping during congested holiday encounters.”
Hammer was arrested on one count of attempted kidnapping and attempted child molestation.