LAKE GROVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A carnival worker allegedly inappropriately touched a child at a New York mall Wednesday evening.

It happened around 7 p.m. during the Dreamland Amusements carnival at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.

The Suffolk County Police Department says 50-year-old Louis Shelton, of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, was operating a carousel at the carnival when he allegedly inappropriately touched a 7-year-old girl who was on the ride.

According to police, Shelton grabbed the child’s crotch while he was putting on her seat belt.

Louis Shelton (credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

A spokesperson for Dreamworks Amusements told CBS2 the child’s mother “misconstrued what he was doing,” saying “that’s where the belt is located.”

The spokesperson went on to say Shelton is supposed to assist children who can’t put on their seat belts on their own and hundreds of thousands of children have ridden the carousel without incident.

Suffolk Police say, however, there are witnesses and that there was no reason for Shelton’s hand to be there.

Shelton is facing charges of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The traveling carnival will be at the Smith Haven Mall through the weekend before moving to other locations throughout the area.

Police say there were no other complaints, but anyone who believes they know of other victims should call detectives at (631) 852-6184.


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