GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been found guilty of an assault charge after he tried to grab a little girl at a Walmart near Grand Haven last year.

A jury on Thursday convicted James O’Connell, 45, of Grand Haven, of assault with intent to commit second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The assault happened in September 2021 at the Walmart on US-131 near Comstock Street in Grand Haven Township. Authorities say O’Connell grabbed an 8-year-old girl’s arm. The girl’s mother snatched her back and she was not hurt. O’Connell took off but was soon spotted by a deputy and arrested.

O’Connell was also charged with kidnapping but the judge dismissed it after his defense asked for a directed verdict. The assault charge was sent to the jury.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 9.