Investigators identified the suspect as Gregory Schwartz, who was arrested around 5:40 p.m. in the area of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Diane Avenue, San Diego police Lt. Chuck Kaye said.
About 40 minutes earlier, Kaye said, a woman who had entered a toilet stall in the Big Lots store at 4829 Clairemont Drive was “confronted by a male who had crawled under the stall she occupied.”
Surveillance video showed the man was wearing “a tutu-type thing” he took from the store, Kaye said.
“The suspect grabbed her and attempted to sexually assault her,” he said.
The woman fought back and screamed for help before escaping from the bathroom and telling employees what had happened, he said.
The suspect ran out of the store and used a screwdriver to threaten a security officer who confronted him before escaping, Kaye said.
The victim said the suspect was wearing a Barbie costume that had been taken from the store when he grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against the wall.
Another witness told police the suspect was wearing a girls’ pink princess top.
The attack was under investigation by the police department’s Sex Crimes Unit and anyone with information was urged to call police at 619-531-2210. Anonymous tips can be made by calling crime stoppers at 888-580-TIPS.