Man charged with holding knife to 7-year-old girl's throat outside Meijer in Pittsfield Township

Melvin Sroufe arraigned

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A man accused of holding a knife to a 7-year-old girl's throat in a Meijer parking lot in Pittsfield Township was in court Thursday for his arraignment.

Melvin Sroufe was supposed to be in court Wednesday, but a day after explaining to the judge why he wanted a lawyer before his arraignment, he sat almost entirely silent with his head down as his case was discussed.

Sroufe, who is homeless and unemployed, according to officials, appeared in a white jumpsuit, signifying that he is a prisoner in protective custody.

A court employee said Sroufe is on suicide watch.

Sroufe is charged with trying to rob a woman in a Meijer parking lot. Police said he held a knife to a 7-year-old girl's throat while demanding her mother get into their car.

When there was a commotion involving bystanders, Sroufe grabbed the woman's wallet and ran away, officials said.

He turned himself in hours after the incident, police said.

Sroufe is on parole from a home invasion in 2001, so even if he could post his $100,000 bail, he wouldn't be released.

You can watch the full arraignment below.

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