REDLANDS, Ca. – The man who inappropriately grabbed an 8-year-old girl in a Redlands Target store has been identified as a Hesperia man who was arrested earlier this year for a different lewd act.
Police said that on Friday, September 6, 2019, at around 7:24 p.m., the small girl was in the toy section while her mother shopped nearby. When the suspect, now identified as Alex Francisco Chavez, 25, of Hesperia, walked into the store located at 27320 W. Lugonia Avenue, he straight into the toy section. He located the 8-year-old girl and began talking to her, police said. He then followed the child and groped her chest from behind as she walked away.
According to the Redlands Police press release, Chavez was confronted by the child’s mother and he denied the allegations and walked away. Chavez left the store immediately but not before he and his vehicle were captured on store surveillance. Investigation into the incident, including the public release of suspect and suspect vehicle photos led to the identification of Chavez as the suspect. After a brief interview with Chavez he was subsequently arrested.
Police officials said that this is not the first lewd act committed by Chavez, who is now back in custody. Chavez was arrested in April for exposing himself to several children walking home from school near Hesperia elementary and middle schools. Authorities said in the April 2019 news release that Chavez would lure children to his vehicle, where he would expose his penis to them. His April arrest was made near Mesquite Trails Elementary School and Cedar Middle School.
He was arrested for indecent exposure in April 2019, and was cited and released. He was subsequently charged with seven counts of indecent exposure to which he pleaded not guilty to in August 2019, per court records. He is due back to the Victorville Superior court on September 18, 2019, for the seven counts of indecent exposure.
He has now been booked into jail for the Redlands Target incident on Sunday, April 8, 2019, for Lewd and Lascivious Act with Child Under 14. He is scheduled to appear at the San Bernardino Superior Court and he is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. Per inmate records, Chavez also apparently dyed his hair blonde after the incident.
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