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Crowd of shoppers hold suspected groper at Blaine Wal-Mart


An Isanti man was held by a crowd of shoppers at a Wal-Mart store in Blaine Sunday after a suspected groping incident involving a female customer, the Pioneer Press reports.

A criminal complaint filed in Anoka County District Court says Jeffrey Thomas Pendzimas, 59, was charged with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, indecent exposure and interfering with a 911 call.

According to the complaint, the woman was looking at her cell phone when she felt a hand of someone reach up her skirt and brush up the inside of her upper thigh near her genital area, and heard the sound of a photo being taken.

The woman ordered the man, who she identified as Pendzimas, to delete the photo he took with his cellphone, but he refused, the complaint says. When she attempted to call 911, the man allegedly swatted the phone out of her hand.

The Associated Press says Pendzimas is being held in Anoka County Jail on $20,000 bond.

Pendzimas has five previous convictions of indecent exposure and one for fifth-degree sexual assault, the Pioneer Press says.

Sunday's incident marks another alleged incident where shoppers stepped up to help detain a suspect.

Channel 3000 reports that in October 2013, two shoppers in Madison, Wisconsin, helped a mall security guard in the city hold two shoplifting suspects until authorities arrived.

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