Man charged in sexual assault at store; police urge caution when using public restrooms

A 34-year-old Detroit man has been charged with several crimes after he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in a Meijer store ladies bathroom.

Donald  Garrett, 34, was arraigned in 23rd District Court Friday on charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a maximum prison term of five years; fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a two-year misdemeanor; and indecent exposure, a one-year misdemeanor.

A woman told police that shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday, she entered the ladies bathroom in the Taylor Meijer store at Pardee and Eureka roads. The woman said she noticed a man leaning over the top of the stall and staring at her.She told police said she immediately exited the stall and the man was still and partially undressed.

She told police she was assaulted, but was able to fight off the attacker. As the defendant fled bathroom, the victim was right behind him, yelling to Meijer employees what had just happened. The employees gave chase while others called police. Taylor police officers apprehended Garrett a distance from Meijer.

Garrett is being held on a $25,000 cash bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary examination before 23rd District court Judge William Sutherland at 8:30 a.m. October 18.

Taylor police said you should always use caution when using a public restroom. Upon entering, quickly ascertain if anyone else is in the bathroom -- and if anything seems suspicious, leave immediately.  

Police said the woman in this case was able to fight her attacker, but if a child as to enter a bathroom alone where someone is waiting, the child would not be as fortunate.

Police said you should always accompany your children to the restroom, even if it means getting a baby out of a high chair at the restaurant and taking him or her to the bathroom with you. Convenience never trumps the safety of your kids, police said.

If a child is of the opposite gender and can maneuver the restroom alone, a parent may allow him or her to go to the appropriate restroom, but should wait just outside the door to the bathroom for the child to to exit.