Arrest made in Wal-Mart restroom assault

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Steve Huffman
CONCORD ó Police say the media contributed to Friday’s arrest of a man charged with sexually assaulting a juvenile in a Wal-Mart restroom.
Dennis Erik William Becker, 41, of 387 Cameron Drive, Concord, is being held under a $1 million bond. He’s charged with first-degree statutory sexual offense and second-degree kidnapping.
“It’s a serious offense,” said Deputy Chief Guy Smith of the Concord Police Department. “We want people to know this man is off the streets, he’s not a threat to anyone else.”
Smith said Concord police received numerous calls Friday after pictures of the suspect were released from Wal-Mart surveillance cameras.
The pictures ran in several local newspapers and video aired on local television stations.
Smith said a man who accompanied Becker into Wal-Mart was first identified by a caller. When that man was contacted, Smith said, he gave information that led officers to Becker.
“Without getting that video and the photograph out there, we wouldn’t be where we’re at tonight,” Smith said Friday evening.
He said Becker cooperated with police, though he declined to say if he admitted to the offenses. Smith said the victim’s father was “pleased with the sequence of events.
“He’s glad we’ve made an arrest,” Smith said.
Police say the assault happened about 7:15 p.m. Sunday at Wal-Mart at 2420 Supercenter Drive.
A boy was in a bathroom stall when a man crawled under the door and made inappropriate contact with him. The child was not physically injured, police said.
Surveillance system photos depicted two white men arriving at the store in a purple Honda Odyssey van. The suspect was wearing a black ball cap with a Celtic cross emblem on its front. He was also wearing a burgundy polo-style shirt, black dress pants and tan-colored shoes.
The other man ó who police don’t believe was involved in the assault ó was wearing a flowered shirt.
After entering the store, the suspect went to the restroom while the other man went shopping.
Smith said Becker has been arrested several times before, but never for anything as serious as Friday’s arrest. He said Becker’s previous arrests were for misdemeanor crimes or driving offenses.