Crime

Roberto Garcia, 72-Year-Old Man, Charged With Fondling 4-Year-Old In Little Havana Shop

Yesterday around  2:45 p.m., 72-year-old Roberto Garcia entered his usual neighborhood shop and ordered a Cuban coffee. Then, while the owner made a cafecito in back, police say Garcia attacked her four-year-old son. He repeatedly touched the boy's penis, touched himself and eventually licked the boy's ear before pretending to play with the kid when his mom returned with the coffee.

Garcia was arrested this afternoon after the boy's mom reviewed security footage and found evidence of the assault.


Garcia, who had no previous criminal record according to Riptide's search, visited the store daily and knew the boy's father "from the neighborhood," according to detectives.

Police are withholding the name of the store and the victim to protect the family's privacy.

After his visit yesterday, the boy's mother noticed he was asking strangely and eventually the boy told her that Garcia had touched him, says Det. William Moreno, a Miami PD spokesman.

When the mother reviewed the video tape, she saw Garcia repeatedly fondling her son and "trying to put his hand inside the victim's pants," police say.

Police tracked Garcia down around 10:30 last night, and after hearing his rights, he admitted to touching the boy and licking his ear.

Garcia faces three charges of lewd and lascivious molestation.

"Our main concern now is that he may have other victims out there," Moreno tells Riptide.

Anyone with more to report on Garcia can call the Special Victim's Unit at 305-603-6300.

Read the disturbing arrest report:

robertogarciaarrest

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink