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Teen Assaulted at Knifepoint Inside Barnes & Nobles Bathroom

Police say the suspect began filming the teen girl in the bathroom and then attacked her while armed with a knife

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    Teen Assaulted at Knifepoint Inside Barnes & Nobles Bathroom
    Berks County Jail
    Dustin Cornelius

    Police arrested a man accused of filming a teen girl and then attacking and tying her up at knifepoint inside the bathroom of a Barnes and Noble store in Berks County, Pennsylvania. 

    The 14-year-old girl told police she was visiting the store in the Broadcasting Square shopping center in Wyomissing with her boyfriend and his mother around 8 p.m. Tuesday. The girl said she entered the women’s restroom and noticed a man holding a cellphone over the top of the bathroom stall she was in. The girl told investigators she believed the man was using it to photograph or record her.

    Police say the man then attacked the girl as she walked out of the stall. He allegedly forced her at knifepoint into another stall, threatened her and bound her with zip ties. The girl struggled with the suspect, causing him to cut himself with the knife and bleed, police said.

    The girl told investigators the man continued to hold her inside the stall while he bled on the floor, but eventually agreed to cut the ties from her wrists. The girl said her boyfriend’s mother then went into the bathroom to check on her and she broke free from his hold. The suspect then ran out of the bathroom, police said.

    Responding officers apprehended the suspect, identified as Dustin Cornelius, 19, of Richland, Pennsylvania. Police found him in possession of the knife and they also recovered his cellphone and zip ties. Cornelius was treated for a cut at a local hospital and committed to the Berks County Prison after failing to post bail.

    Cornelius was charged with unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, simple assault and harassment. 

    The girl told police she had never seen Cornelius prior to the incident.