Eyewitness News learned that a man accused of sexually assaulting a Walmart employee had his gun taken away from him just hours before the attack.
Police pulled over Pedro Rucci early Wednesday morning for expired tags and confiscated a handgun. Rucci was released with a citation, and later in the day, showed up at a Monroe Walmart.
The victim's mother says it was a devious trick.
"A snake waiting to (pounce) on a little mouse, and that's exactly what he is," she said. "He's the lowest scum on earth."
Eyewitness News is protecting her identity to protect her daughter's. WSOC does not release the names of sexual assault victims.
The victim's mother says the suspect convinced her daughter, an employee at the Monroe Walmart, there was a spill she had to clean up in the back of the store. When the victim followed Rucci to a secluded storage area, she said Rucci repeatedly groped her.
"You go to work; you do your job," the mother said. "Do it to the best of your ability, and go home. You shouldn't have to put up with the trash."
Police say they quickly tracked down Rucci at a nearby bank.
"And we were glad we were able to locate him very quickly and get him into custody before he had a chance to do this again," Sgt. Mike Smith said.
Rucci is already out of jail. He's been charged with sexual battery.
Eyewitness News went to his home twice Thursday, but he wouldn't talk about what happened.
Walmart released a statement about the incident to Eyewitness News: "This is clearly a horrible situation. Right now our focus is on the well-being of our associate and helping her during this difficult time. We appreciate the quick response from local law enforcement and will continue to cooperate with any needs they may have for their investigation."