A security camera on an Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus caught the suspect on video. The suspect is accused of molesting a 16-year-old girl on her way home from school.
"He sits next to her, starts to rub her leg. He attempts to unzip her pants. She turns away, starts crying, apparently frozen in fear," said Orange County Sheriff's Dept. Spokesman Jim Amormino.
The girl gets off at the next bus stop in Costa Mesa, where her boyfriend and his father meet her. They don't notice the suspect is following her, but the video captures it. It's before 6 p.m.
"Kind of an unexpected thing being in public like that. It's a really bold thing to do," said Costa Mesa resident Sean Childs.
As authorities look through surveillance video, they noticed the suspect victimized a second girl on her way to school the same morning.
"The suspect sat next to her, rubbed her leg," said Amormino. "She did hit him with her elbow. That incident went unreported."
Investigators say the suspect is over 55. He bought a one-day disabled-senior bus pass Monday.
Investigators say the suspect rode the bus for hours Monday, getting on and off throughout the day focusing mainly on routes 55 and 47.
"By their actions, his intent was to molest young girls," said Amormino.
Traveling with the suspect is another man wearing a white shirt. Authorities want to talk with him as a witness.
"It's really sad that someone would do that," said Costa Mesa resident Jim Chalupnik. "Hopefully you can show people the route, someone can see what he looks like and we can catch this guy."
"Male in mid-50s, Indian descent. He is wearing a hat," said Amormino.
If you recognize the suspect or his acquaintance, you're asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Dept. at (866) TIP-OCSD.