Retail clerks often are trained to deal with difficult customers. But no training could have prepared a few Best Buy workers for what they encountered Friday in the bathroom of a Jacksonville, Florida store. Quick thinking on their part, however, saved a nine-year-old girl's life -- and got her alleged attacker arrested, authorities said.
According to WTEV.com, a female customer was standing outside the store's restroom when she heard screams and cries. When she entered the bathroom, she heard "mumbling" from a stall and quickly notified store employees.
A Best Buy employee, who wasn't named, reportedly looked under the door of the handicapped stall and found a man holding a girl's head inside a toilet. The 29-year-old suspect, James Patrick Tadros, allegedly dropped the girl and she crawled into another stall, according to NBC Miami. The Best Buy employees also detained the man until police arrived. Tadros has been arrested on charges of attempted murder, false imprisonment and criminal mischief. "They really are heroes. They saved this little girl's life," Sgt. Jay Farhat told WTEV.com.
The girl reportedly told authorities that she didn't know Tadros. She was shopping with her mother when Tadros lured her into the bathroom, NBC Miami reported. Tadros then allegedly kicked and punched her and put a plastic bag over her head and stuck her head inside the toilet. Authorities said there was "blood all over" the stall. "If store employees had not acted, it could have been a lot worse," Sgt. Jay Farhat told WTEV.com.
Neighbors told the news station that Tadros is developmentally disabled, but his motive for the attack was unclear.