Austin Blake Stewart, 24, of Springfield, Lane County, Oregon has been arrested. He was charged with physical harassment and disorderly conduct.
On March 25, 2021, Stewart was inside WinCo in Springfield. He allegedly removed his face mask and kissed a baby girl, who is 1 and a half year old, on the lips while her mother glanced away for a moment.
The baby girl was sitting in a shopping cart when she was kissed by Stewart. The mother, who did not know the Springfield resident, tried to look for him right after the incident but he fled so she alerted her husband and WinCo staff.
The father reported to authorities that a stranger had just pulled his face mask off and kissed his daughter on the lips inside the grocery store. Officers found Stewart under a blanket on 18th Street in Springfield, arrested him and booked him into the Springfield Municipal Jail.
This is not Stewart was arrested. On May 22, 2019, he was booked into the Lane County Jail in Eugene, Lane County.
On August 12, 2020, Stewart was booked into the Lane County Jail. He was charged with violation of restraining order.
WinCo has yet to release a statement about Stewart’s recent arrest. Founded in 1967, the grocery store is based in Boise, Idaho, USA and it has retail stores in several states including Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Springfield was named after a natural spring located in a field or prairie within its boundaries. The city is located in the Southern Willamette Valley.
On January 19, 2021, Sean Van Gordon was selected to serve as interim mayor of Springfield. He was chosen to finish out the term vacated by Christine Lundberg, who stepped down as the city’s mayor in August 2020 days before her son was arrested and accused of child sex abuse.