The Chicago man accused of choking an 8-year-old girl in the restroom of a Jason’s Deli last week has been arrested. Reese M. Hartstirn, 33, is being charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery of a child, both of which are felonies. He also faces a misdemeanor battery charge and aggravated assault of a peace officer. In a hearing last Monday, Hartstirn was denied bond and was remanded into police custody. It is unclear at this time whether or not he has retained an attorney. His next hearing is scheduled for May 16.
8-year-old girl choked into unconsciousness in South Loop store bathroom https://t.co/xLJs15X65R
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) May 13, 2016
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the young girl and her mother were at a Jason’s Deli in Chicago on May 7. Around 1:15 p.m., the mother allowed her daughter to go to the restroom unattended. Not long after she entered the restroom, the mother heard the little girl scream, and she rushed to her aid. On entering the bathroom she discovered her daughter unconscious and an unknown male carrying her into a larger stall. Police confirmed that Hartstirn had choked the girl until she passed out. Her mother rescued her from his clutches, and customers in the restaurant held him until police arrived on the scene.
The girl was transported to Comer Children’s Hospital. Authorities have not provided an update on her condition.
Chicago CBS Local writes that the incident occurred at the Jason’s Deli on Roosevelt and Canal in Chicago. According to them, the little girl became separated from her mother while in the deli and decided to go to the restroom. Reese Hartstirn allegedly followed in behind her. He also pushed the mother when she tried to rescue her daughter. In addition, he swung at the booking officer at the Central District police station as he was being booked into custody.
Girl, 8, Choked In South Loop Store Restroom: CHICAGO (CBS) — A 33-year-old man has been… https://t.co/ohy76KFu5O
— CHICAGO PIXELS (@chicagopixels) May 13, 2016
Reese is a resident of West Town, per the Daily Mail, and resides on the 500 block of North Racine Avenue. He is alleged to have strangled the victim with his bare hands. Offering additional details of the crime, the news site says that he then took her into a stall and closed the door so that she could not get out. Hartstirn attempted to push the mother out of the stall as she was trying to rescue her daughter.
The incident has become a talking point for those both for or against the bathroom transgender laws that are currently sweeping the country. Those against cite just these kinds of crimes as reasons why people of the opposite sex should not be allowed to enter any bathroom that they choose. Others say that incidents like these are not a transgender issue but a criminal/predator issue. Still others are criticizing the mother for allowing her child to go to the restroom by herself.
At the end of the day, the mother in this case is just grateful that she was able to get to her daughter before she sustained any further injury. It is hoped that coverage of this incident will bring more awareness to this topic so that situations like this can be prevented in the future through whatever means necessary.
— FoxNewsInsider (@FoxNewsInsider) May 13, 2016
Jason’s Deli issued a statement to the press praising both their employees and customers for rising to the occasion and coming together to offer aid to the little girl and her mother.
“We’re blessed to have a wonderful relationship with the Chicago Police Department. Many of them are our customers and because of their connection to our deli, this unfortunate situation was handled very quickly. We’re proud of how our team members responded and thankful that we have the kind of customers that are willing to lend a hand in a difficult situation. We continue to work hard every day to make every customer happy.”
[Image via Twitter]