MODESTO - Authorities arrested a 34 year old man who was accused of groping several students as they walked to a school bus stop.
On January 31st, deputies with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office received a report from a 15 year old girl who said she had been groped by a Hispanic man on a bicycle as she walked to a bus stop near the intersection of Crows Landing Road and Butte Avenue.
Over the last two weeks, authorities conducted a search to locate and identify the suspect. Probation officers and detectives also assisted to try and identify the suspect. Authorities say seven victims were identified in this case.
Thursday morning, Sheriff detectives and deputies in the STING unit set up an undercover operation with a female deputy posing as a student. As the undercover deputy walked westbound on Butte Avenue toward Glenn Avenue, a man on a bike rode up and groped her. As he began to ride away, the undercover deputy grabbed him and took him into custody. Deputies with the STING unit arrived and arrested the suspect.
Authorities identified the suspect as 34 year old Richard Garcia of Modesto. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail for sexual battery. Detectives are expected to conduct a follow up investigation in the case, and are seeking any more possible victims. The contact is Detective Esquivez, who can be reached at (209) 525-7050.