Police on Thursday released surveillance video of a man who they believe committed lewd acts on two young girls in two different separate daytime incidents just days apart in downtown Los Angeles recently.
In the first incident, which took place at 3 p.m. on July 5, the suspect entered a clothing store in the 400 block of South Los Angeles Street and walked up to a 9-year-old girl. He then grabbed the child's buttocks with his hand before fleeing on foot, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release.
"With all these people around surrounding him, he had no fear of repercussions," LAPD Detective Garrett Breegle said at a Thursday news conference.
Two days later, a man matching the description of the individual sought in the first incident went into the Los Angeles Public Library, approached an 11-year-old girl in the children's section and reached between her legs with his hand, police said.
The girl was able to run away from him.
Police referred to the suspect as a "sexual predator," according to the release. During the news conference, Breegle commented on the brazen nature of the crimes, which were committed near the presence of the girls' relatives and in daytime hours.
"The family and parents in these incidents were in very close proximity to their children. Less than maybe two arm's length away," he said. "So, the brazenness of the suspect to walk up in broad daylight and do this next to their families is why we are so concerned."
LAPD described the suspect as a black man around 30 to 40 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing approximately 155 pounds. He was wearing a neon green tank top, baggy black shorts, multi-colored socks, black shoes and had a large diamond stud in his left ear, according to the release.
The surveillance video showing the wanted individual was taken during the first incident.
Anyone who recognizes the man or has information about this case is asked to call Detective Breegle at 213-996-1836. During non-business hours or on weekends, callers should dial 1-877-527-3247.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or visit the website www.lacrimestoppers.org.