National

He was forcing open a girl’s bathroom stall — but a ‘brave bystander’ took him on, Wisc. cops say

A child enticement suspect was arrested Thursday at a Green Bay business after police said he followed a 13-year-old girl in a bathroom, tried reaching under her stall to unlock the door and then was pushed out and detained by a bystander and workers.
A child enticement suspect was arrested Thursday at a Green Bay business after police said he followed a 13-year-old girl in a bathroom, tried reaching under her stall to unlock the door and then was pushed out and detained by a bystander and workers. Brown County Jail

A locked bathroom stall door was all that stood between a 13-year-old girl and the man trying to force his way inside, according to Wisconsin police.

The teenage girl had just walked into a restroom at a Green Bay, Wisconsin, business on Thursday around 5 p.m. when a man began trailing her, according to police. She quickly shut the stall door behind her, trying to keep him away from her.

But that wasn’t deterring the suspect, police said.

Richard Schwantes, a 60-year-old resident of Green Bay, began reaching under the stall door, hoping to unlock the door from the outside, according to police. Meanwhile, the girl desperately tried to prevent the door from opening.

The frantic struggle didn’t go unnoticed, though.

There was another woman who happened to be in the restroom — and when she realized what was going on at the stall door, she leaped into action to help the 13-year-old, police said.

That’s when Schwantes was shoved out of the women’s restroom altogether, according to police. Staff at the business took it from there, keeping watch over Schwantes. Police arrived and arrested him a short time later.

“When incidents like this occur, it affects every parent,” Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith said in a news release. “Incidents of this nature that involve our youth are unacceptable and we will do everything we can to protect and ensure the safety of all our youth in our community.”

Read Next

Schwantes, who is being held at the Brown County Jail, faces charges of felony child enticement, bail jumping and disorderly conduct, police said. He also faces a probation violation charge, Brown County Jail records said.

Schwantes is being held without bond, according to jail records.

Police said they were originally called to the establishment around 5 p.m. on reports that a “suspicious male” was creeping around the women’s restroom, peeping under the doors into the stalls.

Police thanked the business staff and manager on Green Bay’s east side for detaining Schwantes until officers arrived.

Authorities also singled out the “brave bystander” for praise, commending the quick thinking that prevented a scary situation from getting even worse.

Twenty men in Whatcom and Skagit counties were caught in a sting operation this month that targeted internet predators attempting to solicit sexual contact with minors - part of the Washington State Patrol's ongoing "Net Nanny" operation.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments