An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for an 80-year-old man who’s accused of trying to persuade a Riverside girl to follow him into a supermarket bathroom, and is currently jailed in Ventura County.
Theodore Brian Childers of Simi Valley is charged with annoying a child, a misdemeanor, for the alleged 2017 encounter.
Childers was slated to appear for a pretrial hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Robert Nagby, but when the defendant’s name was called in the judge’s courtroom at the Riverside Hall of Justice, he was nowhere to be found. The judge immediately revoked Childers’ $5,000 bond and signed a bench warrant for his arrest.
Further investigation by the District Attorney’s Office revealed that the defendant had been jailed in Ventura County for an unspecified offense. The real estate broker is being held in lieu of $350,000 bail at the main correctional facility in Ventura, according to jail records.
Riverside police allege the 6-year-old victim was accosted by Childers at a Food-4-Less on Chicago Avenue on the afternoon of Feb. 15, 2017. The defendant allegedly told the youngster to join him in the men’s bathroom, where he promised to “give her a treat,” Officer Ryan Railsback said.
He alleged that Childers held the door open and motioned for the girl to come with him, but she ultimately refused.
Her family contacted police after learning about the encounter, and detectives from the police department’s Sexual Assault Child Abuse unit picked up the investigation, obtaining store surveillance video and posting it to social media, according to Railsback.
Three weeks later, an employee at a gym on Magnolia Avenue spotted a man whom he believed was the same one in the video, prompting the witness to call 911, Railsback said. Officers arrived a short time later and questioned the individual — Childers — who was arrested uneventfully.
The defendant has no documented prior felony or misdemeanor convictions in Riverside County.