PLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — Pflugerville Police arrested Danny Kuhnly, 39, Tuesday. A caller told 911 a man fitting his description inappropriately touched their 6-year-old daughter in the toy aisle of the Target at the Stone Hill Shopping Center, according to an arrest affidavit.
Store staff and police located the suspect on surveillance video in the toy aisle “in the vicinity of the victim,” the report reads. Police officers tracked the suspect’s van to a hotel behind the store, where investigators showed a photo of Kuhnly to an employee, who confirmed he was a guest. Kuhnly eventually admitted it was him in the photo, according to the affidavit.
Through the course of interviewing the suspect, investigators said Kuhnly also admitted to being at the Bath and Body Works in the Stone Hill Shopping Center the week prior. Police were already investigating an incident there where a woman said a man grabbed her daughter inappropriately twice inside the store.
That woman in that case gave police a physical description that also matched Kuhnly’s.
When investigators searched his criminal history, they find a prior sexual assault arrest in another county from 2016.
“It’s scary,” said Ashley Garcia, who says she once had a scary encounter with a man following her and her son around a North Austin store. “We want to be able to feel comfortable going and doing Christmas shopping and living our day-to-day without having to worry about looking over our shoulders.”
She’s urging parents to stay extra vigilant during the holiday shopping rush.
Security experts encourage the same, particularly when shoppers are checking out.
“Most of the time that happens is when you’re at the register and the kid takes off,” said Glen Bhimani, CEO of BPS Security, which staffs security guards all across Texas.
He says things get tricky when it comes to organizing security guard efforts at shopping centers.
“It’s not common and the reason for that is each corporation has their own security policies and they’re all different from each other,” he said.
Plugerville Police did not want to comment further on the Target arrest, citing the ongoing investigation. KXAN has also reached out to the shopping center’s corporate offices for comment.