Video Shows Costumed Suspect in Bathroom Attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Surveillance video from Feb. 28, 2014 at the Clairemont Big Lots shows a man change into a Barbie costume and enter the women's restroom. The video was made public Monday. (Published Monday, Aug 11, 2014)

    The woman allegedly attacked by a man wearing a Barbie costume told a judge that she was terrified of being raped.

    During a preliminary hearing Monday, the judge ruled there is enough evidence to take Gregory Philip Schwartz, 40, to trial.

    Schwartz is accused of attempting to sexually assault a woman while wearing a stolen Barbie costume at the Big Lots store in Clairemont on Feb. 28.

    The victim testified that she was in a restroom stall when she noticed a man’s bare feet. The man peered at her from over top the stall; he then dropped to the ground and climbed underneath the partition.

    “He got right in. He made his hand into a C-clamp. He put his hand on my neck and pushed me against the wall,” she testified.

    The victim said she was screaming, but the suspect covered her mouth.

    “I just told myself, I’d rather die than be raped by this man,” she said with her voice shaking.

    “So I thought my best option was to at least fight.”

    I just told myself, I’d rather die than be raped by this man.Victim testifying in bathroom attack

    The victim managed to escape from the man’s grip, ran out of the restroom and told store employees what happened.

    Surveillance video of the incident was made public for the first time on Monday. The video shows the suspect sneak into the men’s restroom and emerge wearing a hot pink kids-sized dress.

    Detective Carmelin Rivera with the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit testified that other people had run-ins with the defendant in the same plaza that day.

    An employee at a nearby hair salon said she was sitting in her car when the suspect opened the passenger door and asked if she wanted to do meth, Rivera testified.

    After the incident at Big Lots, the defendant approached a Clairemont Town Square security guard.

    “The defendant dropped a pair of women’s underwear on the ground,” Rivera said. “Then, he removed some paper that was rolled up in his hand and in the paper was a shiny object, which the security guard wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but he thought it might have been a screwdriver.”

    Officers arrested four days later near Clairemont Mesa Blvd. and Diane Ave. He had been living out of his car, according to investigators.

    Schwartz’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 25.