Isanti man charged with groping woman at Blaine Walmart

A 59-year-old man was charged Aug. 5 by the Anoka County Attorney’s Office for allegedly groping a woman and taking a picture of her with a cell phone at a Blaine Walmart.

Jeffrey Thomas Pendzimas, of Isanti, faces two gross misdemeanor charges of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth-degree and interfering with an emergency call as well as a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure.

Court records show Pendzimas has a similar criminal history in multiple Minnesota counties.

According to the criminal complaint, an adult woman at Walmart Aug. 3 was looking at her cell phone when she felt a hand reach up her thigh and heard what sounded like a cell phone taking a picture.

She turned around and told the man to delete the picture. When he refused and she said she would call the police, he grabbed her cell phone, threw it on the ground and ran away. Several citizens held onto him until Blaine police arrived, according to the complaint.

Police identified the man as Pendzimas and found that he had a watch that was able to take pictures and the cell phone, according to the complaint.

Court records show that Pendzimas was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in 1997 in Isanti County and of indecent exposure in 2004 in Anoka County and in 2012 in both Kanabec and Sherburne counties.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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