"There was people everywhere and all of a sudden you hear this lady screaming," April Thomas said. She was shopping with her 7-year-old niece at the time. "So I grabbed his jacket and we were struggling, we were going around because I thought I could take him but he was just too strong."
Two bystanders tackled the suspect seconds later.
Police have identified the man as 36-year-old Eugene Melendres Ramos, a registered sex offender. According to police, Ramos sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl in an aisle at the busy Dollar Tree at 1720 Decoto Road. The toddler was at the store with her aunt and grandmother and had wandered away for a less than a minute to return a ribbon to the Christmas section.
"As the grandmother came around the aisle she could see that an unknown male had the little child pinned to the floor," Union City Police Capt. Brian Foley said. "The child's pants and diaper had bee removed. The male's pants and underwear were down."
According to the state sex offender registry, Ramos has a prior conviction for for sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Hayward girl in 2003 with "intent to commit rape."
Ramos was tackled by onlookers and arrested by a passing BART police officer. He was booked for kidnapping, rape, sexual acts with a child, and false imprisonment. He is being held at the Santa Rita Jail on $350,000 bail and will be arraigned next week.
Witnesses to the crime are asked to call Detective Sergeant Jared Rinetti at (510) 675-5229. Those wishing to use the tip line can call (510) 675-5207 or e-mail information to firstname.lastname@example.org.