Officials tell NBC 4 New York that a suspect believed to be the teenager went into the McDonald's on Hillside Avenue at about 6 p.m. Tuesday and lurked in the play area for about two hours before the girl arrived with her mother.
At about 8 p.m., officials say the girl encountered the suspect lying on his back at the top of the slide and that he asked her "do you want to be my best friend?" He then sexually assaulted her.
When the girl got away and told her mother what had happened, the mother went after the suspect and grabbed him as he was trying to flee. He struggled away and left the restaurant, officials said.
The teenager was taken into custody late Wednesday and later charged with committing a criminal sexual act, police said.
Law enforcement officials say this week's assault was the second sexual assault on the slide since March. In that case, a suspect assaulted a 9-year-old girl and also asked her if she wanted to be his best friend. Officials say the attack wasn't reported until April, when the girl told her mother.
Customers and parents were horrified to learn of the attacks.
"I'm sure the mother is devastated and it's just crazy," said Brenda Segura, who also has a 4-year-old child.
McDonald's said it was cooperating with authorities and could not comment on the specifics of the case.
"This type of behavior is not tolerated at our restaurants," said Cortesia Norman, the franchise owner. "The safety of our customers is our top priority."
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