Arrest Made In Ocean County Mall Sexual Assault Case

Ocean County Police are thanking the public for quickly identifying a suspect accused of committing criminal acts on surveillance video.

 Anthony Proto, 68, of Lakewood was arrested Tuesday evening at his home at approximately 8:00 pm. 

The crime took place in a store within the Ocean County Mall where police say Proto began a conversation with an 18 year old female employee.

The woman, who was working alone, was cornered by Proto.  He committed an act of offensive touching by forcing himself on the employee and putting his arm around her while pulling her towards his body and kissing her as well as grabbing her breast, according to Police.

 The woman then tried to push herself away but he then pulled her in closer.  The female had never seen Proto before the incident.

 At the time of the incident he had on a sleeveless tee shirt and was wearing grey pants.

 Out of concern for the victim police are not releasing the name of the store where the incident occurred.

 Within hours of posting the suspects photo on the Ocean County police Facebook page, as well as with numerous media outlets, detectives identified the suspect.

 The initial posting of his image online was done around 1:30 pm. 

 He was charged with Criminal Sexual Contact and is being held in the Ocean County Jail on $10,000 bail. 

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