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Man arrested, charged with assaulting 9-year-old girl in downtown skywalk

Des Moines police say that Carter Woodruff, 34, grabbed the girl in a stairwell before fleeing the scene.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A man was arrested and charged with assault after Des Moines police say he attacked a nine-year-old girl in the skywalk on Saturday.

Sgt. Paul Parizek tells Local 5 the girl was at a swim meet at the YMCA in downtown Des Moines when she left to grab a snack. That's when authorities say Carter Woodruff, 34, grabbed her in a stairwell, forced her to the floor and covered her mouth as she screamed. 

Woodruff then fled the scene, but authorities identified him by surveillance video and arrested him on Monday.

Woodruff is charged with assault causing bodily injury and a probation violation. He is being held in Polk County Jail.

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