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Man arrested after allegedly targeting girl, choking her in restaurant bathroom

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CHICAGO, Ill. – A man is in police custody after he was accused of choking an 8-year-old girl until she passed out in a restaurant bathroom.

The child and her mother were at the Jason’s Deli in Chicago when they went into the women’s restroom and were separated by stalls.

At that point, police say 33-year-old Reese Hartstirn walked in and began choking the girl.

Authorities say Hartstirn attempted to lock her in a stall when her mother grabbed her.

Immediately, customers heard the commotion and came to help, holding Hartstirn until police arrived.

“This is at a restaurant,” Crystal Anderson, a customer at Jason’s Deli, told WLS. “You want your kid to be able to go to a bathroom in a restaurant and feel safe and not be scared… and not worry about someone trying to abduct your kid.”

Hartstirn was arrested on charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child, aggravated battery of a child, battery causing bodily harm and aggravated assault of a peace officer.