What to Know
- Rebecca Plona says a man peered over dressing room stalls to look at her 12-year-old daughter
- The incident happened Sunday evening at the Gap store at the Tanger Outlets in Tilton, New Hampshire
- 30-year-old Eric Muldowney, of Somerville, is out on bail after being arrested and charged with violation of privacy and simple assault
A mom in New Hampshire is speaking out after helping police catch the man she says was peeking over dressing room stalls at her 12-year-old daughter.
Rebecca Plona says she witnessed firsthand her little girl fall victim to a predator.
“I’m like, I can’t believe this is happening, I cannot believe this man just did this,” said Rebecca Plona who is from Connecticut but lives in Wolfeboro during the summer.
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Plona’s 12-year-old daughter was trying on some outfits at the Gap store at the Tanger Outlets in Tilton, New Hampshire on Sunday evening when she saw a man peering over the side of the dressing room stall.
“I saw his whole head show up above the top, he did like a pull up,” she said.
Plona says when she started screaming, the man pushed her out of the way and took off.
“I get up and take off running after him, screaming the entire time,” she recalls.
Before he sped out of the parking lot, Plona got a description of his car, which she gave to police right away.
“So often when things like this happen, we don’t know what to do, we try to be nice,” Plona said. “I was not interested in being nice to this fellow, I was interested in stopping him.”
Within minutes, Corporal Bryan Keeler spotted the red Toyota with Rhode Island plates and arrested the suspect, 30-year-old Eric Muldowney of Somerville.
“There’s been a few reports like this in the past,” Keeler told NBC10 Boston on Monday.
Police say for the past two summers around this same time, they’ve taken similar reports from outlet shoppers but they’ve never been able to track down the suspect.
“We’ll take whatever information we get from this investigation and tie it in with any evidence with past investigations,” Keeler said.
So, there’s a chance all police needed in those cases was the help of a mom on a mission to protect her daughter.
“She said to me this morning, ‘you know you’re a superhero, right,’” Plona said. “I told her, ‘that’s what I want to be for you.’”
Tilton Police are afraid there could be more victims, they’re asking anyone who might have seen Muldowney other stores across New England to give them a call at 603-286-8207.
Muldowney is charged with violation of privacy and simple assault for pushing Plona.
He’s out of jail on $6,000 personal recognizance bail and is due back in Franklin District Court on Aug. 20 at 8:00 a.m.