Murfreesboro man accused of touching girl at public library
William Young (Photo from Murfreesboro PD)
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -
A man is accused of allegedly touching a little girl in, of all places, a public library.
Murfreesboro police say an innocent children's reading event turned into a horror story June 26 when a man was spotted in the children's area of Linebaugh Library, at 150 West Vine St.
"I spotted him and was suspicious of his behavior," said branch librarian Carol Ghattas.
The children's area was packed with 200 to 300 kids and parents to enjoy music and storytelling.
However, library staff said there was something odd about William Young, 32, of Murfreesboro, hanging around in the back of the room. At first, they said he was pretending to be looking at a book to check out in the juvenile non-fiction section.
Then, according to an arrest warrant, "it was found that Mr. Young brushed a 9-year-old child's buttocks, passed her again and patted her buttocks, passed her a third time and grabbed her buttocks."
The librarian witnessed the incident, the warrant states.
"Things happened very quickly," Ghattas said. "The mother was notified about what happened to the child."
The mother confronted Young, but he left the library, according to an arrest report.
Parent Kim Wheeler couldn't believe something like this could happen in a public place.
"I'm kind of amazed that even happened," Wheeler said. "I'm shocked you don't hear about that kind of stuff in Murfreesboro that often."
She has four children of her own and takes all the necessary precautions to make sure they are safe, even on a trip to the library.
"I always bring a second adult just so I'll have two people to help me watch my children and keep them all together," Wheeler said.
Even though this appears to be an isolated incident, police are urging parents to watch their children at all times.
"You want to think things are safe everywhere, but they are not anymore. Child predators are everywhere, and they watch," said Murfreesboro Police Maj. Clyde Adkison. "The main thing is never take your eyes off your children."
Just four months ago, the Code of Conduct policy at the library was updated. Under the old policy, children 7 and younger had to be accompanied by a parent at all times, but that has now changed to 12 and under.
"Because of issues like this and because our world is changing, we have to be more careful," Ghattas said.
Wheeler is just thankful library staff was able to notice what was allegedly going on with the man before anything worse could happen to the little girl.
"That just says a lot about the people who work here, and I'm really impressed. And it definitely won't stop me from coming back," Wheeler said.
Detectives arrested Young at the Regal Inn, on South Church Street on Thursday.
Young faces three counts of aggravated sexual battery of a minor and remains in jail on a $150,000 bond. He's scheduled to appear in court Aug. 21.
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