Attempted armed robbery inside mall bathroom stall - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Attempted armed robbery inside mall bathroom stall


MADISON (WKOW) -- Authorities say a man attempted to rob a woman at gunpoint inside a bathroom stall at a Madison shopping mall.

Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain says the woman was in a stall Wednesday evening at West Towne Mall, when a man entered an adjoining stall.

DeSpain says the man crawled under the stall divider, put a handgun to the woman's head and demanded money.  When the victim stated she didn't have any, the suspect ordered her to turn around and he left.

DeSpain says the victim was a Mount Horeb woman in her forties.

Authorities say the suspect is a black man in his twenties, 5'8, medium build, in black jeans, with shoes with white on them, and black fabric covering the lower half of his face.

Authorities say another woman was robbed in a bathroom stall at West Towne Mall in July 2011 by a teenager who also crawled into a stall.

And in September 2011, DeSpain says another intruder to a woman's bathroom stall at West Towne appeared intent on sexual assault, but the confrontation broke up before any assault took place.

West Towne Mall representatives declined comment to 27 News on Wednesday's crime, citing the on-going police investigation.

Kelly Rush of Madison says she was at East Towne Mall Wednesday evening with her three young children, when a stranger made an inappropriate comment about her body. Rush says she was unnerved, and considered contacting mall security.

Rush says she and her family normally visit West Towne Mall. She says her experience at East Towne, combined with Wednesday's bathroom attempted robbery attempt, convinces her to forego using public rest rooms at malls.

DeSpain says potential witnesses to the mall exit of the suspect in Wednesday's attempted armed robbery are being contacted. DeSpain says the suspect may have left the mall property in a red SUV.

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