JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Police say quick action by a witness and employees at the Best Buy on 9930 Southside Boulevard probably saved a young girl's life. James Patrick Tadros is accused of luring the girl into a bathroom and attacking her.
Melissa Bujeda with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says officers were called to the Best Buy just before 5:30 p.m. Friday after getting a report of a battery on a juvenile.
Police say a woman was standing outside the store's restrooms and heard someone screaming and crying from inside. She entered the women's restroom and heard mumbling from inside one of the stalls, according to police. The witness then called store employees who came to help.
According to a news release issued early Saturday morning, a Best Buy employee looked under the door of the handicapped stall and saw Tadros, 29, holding the child's head inside the toilet. Bujeda says Tadros dropped the nine-year-old girl, who was able to crawl out of the stall. Employees then took her away from danger.
A detective on the scene told Action News the quick thinking of the employees likely saved the young girl's life. "If store employees had not acted, it could have been a lot worse," said Sgt. Jay Farhat.
But JSO says employees did not stop there; they detained Tadros until police arrived.
Police say there was "blood all over the inside of the restroom stall." Farhat told Action News the suspect was trying to kill the child.
The young girl was taken to a hospital for treatment. Her condition was not released, but investigators say she was stable.
Bujeda described the brutality of the attack, "The victim told a store employee that she did not know the suspect. The victim stated the suspect kicked and punched her and put a plastic bag over her head and stuck her head inside the toilet."
Investigators say the child was at the store with her mother when Tadros lured the girl into the bathroom. Surveillance cameras captured the entire timeline of events, except for the actual attack in the restroom. JSO is not releasing more details about how the suspect lured the child away.
Police took Tadros in for questioning. They say he damaged the interview room while he was detained. Tadros was arrested for attempted murder, false imprisonment and criminal mischief.
Action News is looking into Tadros' background. You can get instant updates on this breaking story on ActionNewsJax.com.
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