Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Man wielding squirt gun harasses young girls

Deputies searched Tuesday for a man who approaches young girls and sprays them in the face with a squirt gun.

The latest attack occurred Monday night when a man approached a 9-year-old girl who was waiting for her parents with a friend outside a store.

The suspect started talking to the girls, then showed them the water pistol in his hand. The man placed his hand around the back of the victim's neck and walked her away from the business. He then squirted the girl in the face and ran away, said Cpl. Angelo Nieves, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives were testing the child's clothing to determine what was sprayed at her.

Detectives said the man may have attacked other girls last fall. A man approached a 9-year-old girl last September in a shopping mall, sprayed her with a water pistol and then took a photograph of her reaction. He struck a few weeks later at a different shopping mall.

_ Wire reports