AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) - In a crime that is sure to concern parents, Columbia County detectives have identified the man accused of sexual battery of a child inside the Golden Corral on Bobby Jones Expressway. Investigator Jason Little said right now, he’s a person of interest - not a suspect - and they’re in talks with him right now.
“It’s really frightening," said Romaine Newton, a grandmother and retired nurse.
Romaine and Detra are sisters. When they heard a 10-year-old boy was sexually violated in front of his brother at Golden Corral their hearts went out.
“My grandkids are older but I still tell them wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Be aware. Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of the people that are around you,” she explained.
According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the 10-year-old said a black man wearing a dark sweater came into the bathroom while he and his 7-year-old brother were at the urinal. The report states the person of interest “pushed his (the 10-year-old victim’s) stepbrother into him”, touched the victim on the thigh with his genitals and tried to hug him. The report states the victim’s 7-year-old brother pushed the stranger and said “back off.”
A second man pulled the person of interest away, telling the children “don’t mind him.”
The boys ran away - told their parents - and the sheriff’s office got involved.
Investigator Little has a message to all parents, "We’d like to encourage parents to go with your children - if they are going to use a public restroom.
He said investigators are working with the child’s parents and the child advocacy center - to council the child.
“I think most importantly is to let them know that it wasn’t their fault. it wasn’t anything that they did to make this..thing...happen what happen to them. And just reassure them that it’s going to be okay. And then for them to talk about it so they can release the pain from it," said Detra Fisher, who is a retired employee of the Department of Corrections and a grandmother, too.
The sheriff’s office has identified the man and right now he’s a person of interest.
The details of this case and whether the person of interest is a sex offender are still under investigation. Investigator Little says the public’s response played a big role in them identifying the man.