A Newark man was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a minor for changing his 4-year-old daughter’s dirty diaper in a McDonald’s restaurant. Greg James, 29, was taken into police custody after an altercation with the store’s assistant manager, who found James openly changing his young daughter in the middle of the restaurant’s Play Place, triggered another customer to call 911.
“The two were in a booth in our Play Place area,” said restaurant assistant manager Jim Del. “The restaurant wasn’t very busy at the time, so they were alone in there. I went in to change the trash can liners, and Mr. James was yelling at his daughter for not letting him know she had to use the bathroom. He had her laying on the table, completely naked, and was cleaning her off using napkins and soda from his cup.”
Del reportedly asked James to take the girl into the bathrooms, where they had a changing area for small children.
“He told me to go f— myself, and he’d take care of it,” said Del. “He then yelled at his daughter because she was squirming, telling her to ‘stop f—– moving around’ while he finished changing her.”
Police responded to a call made by another patron of the McDonald’s, who reported seeing the father yelling at the young girl.
“I had just come into the McD’s with my 5-year-old son, and we had gotten our food and were walking into the play area,” said Martha Biggs, the patron who called the police. “And I see this man holding down a young, naked girl, a dirty poop-diaper sitting on the table next to his food, and he’s wiping her with napkins. The poor girl, she was crying. One of the employees was trying to get him to take his daughter into the bathroom, and he wouldn’t. I took my son out of the play area and immediately called the police.”
When officers arrived, James was readying to leave the restaurant, and they confronted him about the incident.
“Mr. James became belligerent, and tried taking a swing at one of the officers at the scene,” said Captain Aaron Silver of the Newark Police Department. “He claimed he had done nothing wrong and that we were ‘illegally detaining’ him. After several minutes, officers were able to forcibly arrest Mr. James and bring him in. His daughter was brought to the station as well and later picked up by her mother.”
James was arrested on one count of resisting arrest, and one count of sexual assault of a minor.
“Although normally one would think of sexual assault as a form of molestation or an actual sexual act, that is not all the falls under that definition when it comes to children,” said Captain Silver. “Because Mr. James had stripped his daughter in public, in full-view of any other patrons who walked in, including the woman who called us to inform of the incident, as well as her very young son, he is being charged with sexual assault, a crime he committed by openly disregarding the safety and privacy of his young daughter.”
James was released on $10,000 bail, and is due in court in September. He is restricted from unsupervised visits with his daughter until a verdict is made.