ISLANDIA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Parents were on edge Monday, after a Long Island Walmart employee was accused of luring a 5-year-old boy into a store restroom and sexually assaulting him.
And as CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, there may be more victims out there.
The boy was standing near his distracted mother as she shopped in the store, police said. Matthew Bulmer, 22, of Islip Terrace, convinced the child to follow him into the restroom at the Walmart at 1850 Veterans Memorial Highway in Islandia around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, authorities said Sunday.
After an investigation, authorities charged Bulmer with first-degree sex abuse and acting in a manner to injure a child.
The day after the charges were announced, parents were holding tight to their children.
“What kind of employees are Walmart hiring?” said Walmart shopper Susan Haynes. “I mean, how many other children could this have happened to that did not speak up?”
“I am very angry about this news story,” added Walmart shopper Juli Morea. “It is very, very upsetting to me as a parent.”
Bulmer pleaded not guilty Sunday to the charges brought against him. He was being held on $10,000 bond.
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s office was searching for other potential victims.
Bulmer lives blocks from an Islip Terrace elementary school, where police were interviewing neighbors Monday.
The accused child abuser is a tenant of landlord Pasqualle Signoretti, who thinks there must be a misunderstanding.
“He’s not that kind of – seems like a really good boy,” Signoretti said.
Walmart would not disclose how long Bulmer has worked for the retail giant, but said he passed a criminal background check.
“We’re clearly concerned about these allegations and are cooperating in all ways we can with the Suffolk County Police Department,” Walmart spokeswoman Dianna Gee said in a statement. “The associate has been suspended pending the outcome of this investigation.”
But shoppers remained worried even with Bulmer now in jail.
“”We shoppers pick up items for our family and worry about our children being pulled somewhere,” said Walmart shopper Solitaire Branch.
“I have an 11-year-old daughter, and she’s always with me,” added shopper Michael Oscobar. “My eyes are always on her, no matter where I go.”
Police received an emotional 911 call Saturday night and raced to the Walmart store, where the suspect was arrested before he left the building. The little boy was taken to a hospital.
Bulmer will make another court appearance next Friday before a Suffolk County judge.
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