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Shopper describes sexual assault at Clairemont 99 cent store

Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 21:08:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local woman says a recent shopping trip turned into a nightmare, in the form of a sexual assault inside a 99 cent store in Clairemont.

Around 7 p.m. on Thursday, inside a nearly empty 99 Cents Only store at Clairemont Town Square, Sarah was 30 minutes into a shopping trip. She recalls seeing the same man, as she walked through three different aisles.

"I didn't think anything of it. Just thought he was shopping for the same items," said Sarah.

When Sarah bent down to get some poster board from a shelf, he attacked.

"He came from behind and forcefully shoved my shoulders into a seated position into his lap, and he had an erect groin," said Sarah.

Sarah says she quickly got away from the man, who was fully clothed.

"I was shocked and gasped. Stood up and turned around, and he backed up. He said, 'Oh, sorry, I thought you were somebody I knew,'" said Sarah.

Sarah describes the man as a thin, dark-haired man in his 20s, wearing a black mask and blue-and-white, checkered cap. She raced to find a store employee.

"I could see he was still stalking me. He was still peeking his head around the corner. When he saw me talking to an employee, he took off," said Sarah.

She called the police and waited outside the front door to get a photo of him, but he never appeared. He likely got out a side door.

"I feel very violated. Just very violating," said Sarah.

A day later, there is a growing fear and anxiety. After she posted details on the Nextdoor site, neighbors reported four recent and similar incidents at grocery and drug stores, all involving a man with a similar suspect description. Police tell us they're looking into a possible link to other cases.

"It's very scary he could potentially be doing this to women while they're shopping," said Sarah.

Sarah is worried about what the man may do next.

"He's very brazen. I'm fearful he might up his ante and rape somebody," said Sarah.

Sarah says the store manager confirmed there is an in-store video that will be given to the police. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.