JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro man is under arrest and required to undergo a mental evaluation after multiple people claim he sexually assaulted and/or harassed their children at Walmart.
According to a police report from the Jonesboro Police Department, all three children were under a year old.
The incident happened Monday at the Highland Drive Walmart in Jonesboro.
Victims and witnesses allege that 20-year-old Deqwon Delrico McGowan followed multiple families with children around Walmart and either touched or attempted to touch the babies in the shopping carts.
In one incident, McGowan "showed interest" in a woman's 7-month-old grandson and asked if he could see him.
The grandmother told police that McGowan tickled and touched the baby on the chest, but then "intentionally grabbed [the boy's] private area and would not let go until she forcibly removed his hand."
Another woman reported that McGowan approached her shopping cart two different times in different areas of Walmart.
"[She] advised that Deqwon approached them in the toy aisle and threw his shoulder into [her] in an attempt to push [her] away from her shopping cart, which contained her daughter," the report states.
When she asked what he was doing, McGowan told the woman he "just wanted to walk around the store with her until he filled out his interview."
Later, when the woman was near the bathroom, McGowan allegedly came up and grabbed the shopping cart that her friend's daughter was in. When the woman pinned her friend's shopping cart with hers, McGowan said "oh, I didn't see you there," and walked away again.
Police were able to quickly find and arrest McGowan due to multiple witnesses pointing him out in the parking lot.
Jonesboro Police Officer Nathaniel Cole said when he approached McGowan, he said a woman was lying about him and he "didn't do anything wrong by trying to grab a baby."
He went on to say he was at Walmart, not to shop, but to "find his peace" and relax.
Officer Cole said by that point, multiple people were lined up to tell him about what McGowan had done.
JPD Public Information Specialist Paul Holmes said people being aware of their surroundings helped bring McGowan into custody.
"Even if you're not involved in something like this directly, the best thing you can do to make sure that we can solve the case and bring someone to court is be a good witness," Holmes said. "Get a description of the person, get a description of the vehicle if they're in one, and relay all that information to police when they respond."
McGowan faces a felony sexual assault charge, a misdemeanor harassment charge, and a misdemeanor drug possession charge.
During a probable cause hearing Wednesday for the assault and harassment charges, District Court Judge David Boling appointed McGowan a public defender. McGowan then asked, "can you give me a woman?"
Judge Boling did not respond.
McGowan was given a $10,000 bond due to his arrest history. McGowan was also required to undergo a mental evaluation before his next court date in September.
This was the second time this week that McGowan was in front of a district court judge for a probable cause hearing.
Tuesday, McGowan appeared before Judge Keith Blackman for a drug possession charge.
While discussing McGowan's charges with him, McGowan told Blackman that he was "schizophrenic but real quiet," and that all he was doing was "saying hi to a baby."
McGowan was arrested earlier this year for an incident at Kroger. He is now criminally banned from that store.
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