Teenage girl photographed, attacked at knifepoint in store bathroom in Berks County

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Girl reports bathroom incident: Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 5:30 a.m. on May 18, 2017. (WPVI)

A teenager in Berks County is recovering from a terrifying encounter in a public restroom, after police say an armed man first recorded her with his cell phone in a stall, then went on the attack.

It happened Tuesday night at the Barnes and Noble store in Spring Township, Pa.

The 14-year-old girl told police she was inside one of the stalls when she looked up and noticed a cell phone taking a picture of her.

Court documents state when she opened the stall door she came face-to-face with a man, identified as 19-year-old Dustin Cornelius of Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, who was holding a knife.

"I can't recall in the eight years I've been here anything similar to this," Spring Twp. Police Chief Bryan Ross told WFMZ-TV.

Police say Cornelius directed her to the handicap stall where he ordered her put her hands on the wall, then proceeded to put his hands under her shirt.

Police say the girl hit Cornelius' hand and tried to escape, but he got hold of her and then bound her wrists with zip ties, all at knifepoint.

"He obviously put some thought into what he was going to do," said Ross.

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Teen says stranger tried to videotape her in bathroom. Jim Gardner reports during Action News at 11 p.m. on May 17, 2017.

The girl then spotted blood on her captor's hand and asked if he was okay.

That's when police say the suspect became apologetic and claimed he was under the influence of drugs.

He clipped the zip ties off her wrist, but wouldn't let her leave, until her boyfriend's mother came in the bathroom to check on her.

"We don't know what the outcome would have been if the mother didn't enter the bathroom," said Ross.

Cornelius has been charged with multiple counts, including false imprisonment of a minor and simple assault.

He's being held on $25,000 bail.

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