Madison police have apprehended a man suspected of attempted robbery in a women’s restroom at West Towne Mall.
Police said Maurice Neal, 17, was charged with felony counts of attempted armed robbery and attempted theft. The charges carry a maximum combined imprisonment of 25 years.
Police began a search last week in response to a report that a man crawled under the divider of a bathroom stall and held up a woman inside, using a handgun.
Police were called again Monday after a complaint that a man peeked under the stall divider of a women’s restroom of the mall. Police apprehended the teen that day after speaking to a security officer who described the suspect. The guard said the teen was acting peculiar and at one point asked him about the arrival time of Madison Metro.
The attempted robbery last week occurred at the women’s bathroom next to Champs. According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police she heard a male voice and was shocked when the teen slid under the opening.
The victim said the suspect put a handgun to her head. She told police that the teen ordered her to turn around and that she refused, thinking she could be shot or physically assaulted. She said she did not have any money and the suspect fled, according to police.
According to the complaint, the suspect said during an interview he used a handgun-style BB-gun.
Detectives said Neal told them that Neal's heart sank during the attempt, and he thought, “Why am I doing this?” before fleeing.