Warning: Details in this story are disturbing and may be difficult to read for some viewers.
Prosecutors revealed horrifying details in the sexual assault of a 3-year-old girl at a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago last week.
The man accused in the assault, who has a long criminal history and was released on parole last month following a burglary conviction, has been charged with felony predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13 and misdemeanor criminal trespass to land.
The incident happened around 8:20 a.m. on Feb. 17 at the McDonald’s in the 600 block of North Clark, formerly known as the Rock ‘N’ Roll McDonald’s police said.
According to prosecutors, the child’s father had taken the girl and her brother to the men’s bathroom after her brother had an accident at the restaurant. While the dad was helping the boy, Christopher Puente allegedly lured the girl into his stall.
The father heard the girl in the stall next to him, but when he tried to open the door it was locked. The dad went under the stall and pulled the girl out from underneath before taking both children to their mother inside the restaurant.
When he returned, the suspect had fled the scene. The girl was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital.
A photo of the suspect exiting the bathroom was posted in a community alert by police.
Puente was first taken into custody around 1 a.m. Wednesday after he refused to leave a business in the 500 block of North Dearborn. Officers investigating the scene recognized him as the suspect from the community alert photo and he was ultimately charged, police said. He was wearing the exact same clothing as in the surveillance photo, prosecutors said.
Nick Karavites, the owner and operator of the McDonald's location, issued a statement Thursday saying that he and his staff are "devastated" over the incident.
"We are devastated that this terrible incident occurred," he said. "McDonald's has always operated with a strong commitment to families, and that includes creating safe environments for all guests. As soon as we became aware of this incident, we fully cooperated with local law enforcement."
According to a proffer read in court Thursday, Puente made admissions to the crime via a sign language interpreter, saying he “knew it was wrong but he wasn’t seeing” and was high at the time.
He was ordered held with bail and is next expected to appear in court March 10.