Mother speaks out about man approaching her son in restroom

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A 6-year-old boy’s mother is still very upset about what happened to her son at a restaurant Wednesday night.

She is warning other parents to keep their children out of harm’s way when it comes to predators.

“I am really disgusted that this type of person is out on the street," said Mitzi, who did not want Eyewitness News to use her last name.

Mitzi wants every parent to realize there are child predators in some of the most unsuspecting places. Her 6-year-old son, according to police, was the target of a predator suspect who’s been in trouble before for child solicitation.

Mitzi took her family to New Taste Buffet near West 38th Street and Georgetown Road in northwest Indianapolis for dinner Wednesday evening. During a trip to the restroom, a man approached her son, not realizing another man in a different stall witnessed everything and took action.

"This man came to my table who asked me if my son had gone to the restroom minutes before, I said, 'Yes, he went to the restroom," Mitzi said. "He asked my son, 'Did someone say something to you in the restroom?' He said, 'Yes, a man asked me to touch his private parts.'"

That same witness who ended up being her family’s good Samaritan made the suspect stay put.

“He said, 'You are not going anywhere'," said Mitzi.

IMPD Ofc. Chris Cooper arrested 33-year-old Christopher Hockenberry.

According to court documents, during questioning by IMPD Sex Crimes Detective Derrick Harris, Hockenberry claimed he may have slipped and asked the boy to touch him and made other inappropriate sexual comments. Hockenberry also revealed to Det. Harris that he had been in trouble before and currently is on probation for charges related to sex crimes.

Hockenberry reportedly admitted that he was not even supposed to be around children. Harris learned the 33-year-old had been convicted of similar crimes in July 2016.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry charged Hockenberry with two counts of attempted child molestation, child solicitation and performing sexual conduct in the presence of a minor. All of the charges are felonies.

“I am so proud of my son for being brave enough to tell the man no," said Mitzi. "My son told me he was afraid to tell me what happened, because the man in the restaurant him told him not to tell anyone what he had said to him."

She had a message for other parents.

"Let them know that is not okay if someone comes to you, whether you know them or not," she said. "As a parent, the only thing you want is for them to be protected 24/7 whereever they go."

Mitzi believes by talking to her children ahead of time about strangers even in public places like restaurants her son knew what to do.

Hockenberry is scheduled to return to court April 19. He could face other penalties for reportedly violating his probation from the previous sex crimes conviction.

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