NAMED: Man allegedly held a child captive at shops
A YOUNG child was allegedly held captive and assaulted by a complete stranger at a Pialba shopping centre at the weekend.
The accused man has been identified as Shane Michael Fitzsimmons.
Police allege he lured the primary-school aged child he had never previously met to a section of the shopping centre on Sunday.
Mr Fitzsimmons then allegedly went on to assault the child aged under 12.
The 30-year-old was arrested and has been charged with one count each of indecent treatment of a child, indecent treatment of a child (procure to commit) and deprivation of liberty.
A complaint was made to police following the incident, which allegedly happened just after 4pm on Sunday.
A search of Mr Fitzsimmons's Nikenbah home allegedly uncovered clothes which matched the description of the offender.
Mr Fitzsimmons fronted Hervey Bay Magistrates Court for the first time on Tuesday morning and remanded in custody.
Asked how the accused allegedly managed to coax the child away and where he was taken, Detective Sergeant Melonie Geck said she could not comment.
She did say the alleged victim was not alone at the shops at the time and it was a timely reminder for parents and guardians to keep a watchful eye on their children.
"It's definitely a concern that these incidents are occurring," Det Sgt Geck said.
"We certainly don't want people who are committing these offences on the streets."
Mr Fitzsimmon's charges will be mentioned in court again next month.
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have observed a male person acting suspiciously in the vicinity of the shopping centre, at Torquay Rd, to contact them.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 and Quote this reference number: QP1801909350
Information on child safety can be found at Daniel Morcombe Foundation website, at danielmorcombe.com.au.