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UPDATE: Man accused of grabbing child at Grand Haven Twp. Walmart identified

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Posted at 11:14 AM, Sep 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 14:41:39-04

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich — Update from Tuesday, Sept. 21: The 43-year-old man in custody has been identifed as James O'Connell from Grand Haven.

O'Connell has been charged with kidnapping, assault with intent to commit 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct and being a habitual offender.

He remains in custody at the Ottawa County Jail, with bond being set at $500,000.

There were no injuries to the victims, and no other suspects are involved, according to police.

The Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the incident, and asks that anyone else who was approached or contacted by OConnell to notify the Sheriff's Office to report the incidents

O'Connell is believed by police to have been seen at retail stores in Grand Haven on Sunday, Sept. 19, between 12-5 p.m. in the area of US-31 between Robbins Road and Hayes Street.

Anyone with information can contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office or contact Silent Observer at 1-877-88-SILENT (745368) or mosotips.com.

RELATED: Deputies searching for a man who grabbed 8-year-old by the arm at Grand Haven Walmart

O'Connell left the Grand Haven Walmart store when the child’s mother pulled her away from him, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s office patrol sergeant was conducting additional patrols about 5:25 p.m. Sunday near the store located at 14700 US-31 in Grand Haven Township when he saw a person matching the description from an earlier incident.

When contacting O'Connell, the sergeant determined he was the person involved in the reported incident.

Detectives continued the investigation and determined the suspect had left the Walmart after the incident at 2:40 p.m. and that he may have had contact with a second young girl as he was leaving the store.

This girl and her family have not been identified and the sheriff’s office wants them to report the incident.

The sheriff’s office says O'Connell may have also visited other businesses in the area and had contact or attempted contact with other young girls.

So far, the sheriff’s office has received one report of the man making physical contact with another 7-year-old girl at about 3:30 p.m. inside the business located at 15000 US-31 in Grand Haven Township, according to a news release Monday.

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