Man charged with groping 2 women

Javantroi Perez Walden: Man is accused of groping women at Walmart and Sonic.

A Martinez man was arrested early Tuesday, accused of groping two women.

Javantroi Perez Walden, 33, of Wendell Lane, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.

A 21-year-old woman shopping at the Martinez Walmart called authorities late Monday claiming she had been assaulted. She said a man in a red shirt and black pants grabbed her breast about 11:45 p.m., then walked out of the store on Bobby Jones Expressway, according to a Columbia County sheriff’s report.

Just after midnight, a 17-year-old server at Sonic on Belair Road told authorities that a customer wearing a red shirt and black pants grabbed her breast and drove away after his credit card was declined, according to the incident report.

A short time later, a deputy saw the man’s car on North Belair Road near Lamkin Road. The driver, later identified as Walden, stopped without the deputy activating his lights or siren, according to the report. Walden was wearing black pants and a red shirt.

A similar incident was reported in North Augusta Monday night, according to a North Augusta Public Safety incident report. There, a 42-year-old North Augusta woman said a man in black pants and a red shirt “pinched” her breast in the cleaning supplies aisle of Kroger at about 11:20 p.m. She attempted to follow him as he left the store, but lost track of him, according to the report. The woman contacted security guards at the Walmart across the street, who told her the same thing happened to another woman in their store two hours earlier.

The women from the Columbia County incidents identified Wal­den as their attacker in a police line-up, according to the Columbia County report. Officers in North Augusta were not able to immediately view security tapes to identify the man.

Waiving his Miranda rights, Walden told deputies he went to Walmart to get medicine for his wife. He said he wasn’t thinking when he walked up to the woman and grabbed her breast, according to the report.

Walden said he then went to Sonic for some food and admitted grabbing the server’s breast. Walden couldn’t give a reason for his actions.

He remained in the Co­lum­bia County Detention Cen­ter late Tuesday afternoon on a $3,200 bond, according to jail records.

Staff Writer Kelly Jasper contributed to this report.

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Mon, 01/23/2017 - 20:51

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