Stranger removed mask to kiss baby girl on lips as mother looked away, police say


Austin Blake Stewart (Credit: Springfield Police Department – Oregon)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (WNCN) — A man was arrested after police say he pulled off his mask in a grocery store to kiss a baby girl sitting in a shopping cart while her mother was looking away.

Investigators say the 1-year-old’s father flagged down a police officer Thursday to report the alleged incident. Just before alerting the officer, the father had gone looking for the man, who had fled.

Police later identified the suspect as 24-year-old Austin Blake Stewart.

Investigators said the mother, who had “glance away for a brief moment,” also searched for the man before alerting her husband.

Officers found Stewart under a blanket near the roadway.

He was arrested and charged with physical harassment and disorderly conduct.

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