A registered sex offender who wore Batman-themed clothing was arrested Tuesday in Salinas on suspicion of trying to lure a boy into a bathroom stall at the Northridge Mall a day earlier, police said Wednesday.
Salinas police booked Kevin Rodney Gray, 34, into Monterey County Jail on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child and violating his probation after he turned himself in at police headquarters at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to police.
Gray, a registered sex offender who is on probation for an offense related to annoying children, told officers that he knew they were looking for him in connection with the incident Monday at the shopping mall, police said.
Police identified Gray when his Monterey County probation officer and other citizens called saying they recognized Gray’s image in still photos from mall surveillance video that were released to the news media. However, detectives were unable to locate him until he surrendered, according to police.
At 7:42 p.m. Monday, officers had responded to a report about a man annoying a boy in a public restroom inside the mall, according to police.
The 8-year-old boy, who had entered the men’s room alone while his mother waited outside, told police that a man stood inside a stall with the door open and asked him how old he was, police said.
The man then attempted to convince the boy to enter the stall with him, but the child became scared and left the restroom to report to his mother what had happened, according to police.
His mother confronted the suspect after he came out of the restroom and the man fled the mall before security could catch up to him, police said.
Mall security obtained surveillance footage of the suspect walking inside the mall and turned it over to police, according to police. The suspect wore distinctive clothing, all with Batman logos, including a black and gold hoodie, T-shirt and earrings, according to police.