6-year-old boy groped by man inside Union Square Barnes and Noble, police say

UNION SQUARE, Manhattan — Authorities are searching for the man accused of groping a 6-year-old boy at a Manhattan Barnes and Noble Wednesday afternoon.

As the boy was inside the Barnes and Noble bookstore on East 17th Street, an unidentified man approached him and grabbed his buttocks and groin area, according to authorities.

The victim’s mother, who was standing a few feet away from her son, saw the man and tried to grab him, said police.

The man fled the store, heading west on East 17th Street, said cops.

The boy was not injured.

The victim and the man do not know each other, police said. They believe this was a one-time incident.

Barnes and Noble told PIX11 they are cooperating with authorities and are in close contact with the victim.

“We are disturbed by the criminal violation in our store and we are in close contact with the victim and his family to help them through this difficult time. We have also been cooperating with law enforcement since we learned of this unfortunate criminal incident. We take security very seriously and are vigilant in making our stores safe and inviting for our customers and will continue to take all measures to do so.”

The man is described to be 18 to 20 years old with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a multi-colored short-sleeved shirt, dark jeans and white sneakers.

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).