Police in Pleasant Hill are investigating two nearly identical incidents over the past two days involving a man who groped girls headed to school, a police sergeant said.
Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, a girl was walking on Harriet Drive near Violet Way a few blocks from Gregory Gardens Elementary School when a man approached from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The suspect then sprinted from the scene and was last seen running south on Shirley Drive, according to Pleasant Hill police Sgt. Tim Frank.
Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the man.
However, police said, the juvenile victim, a 16-year-old student at College Park High School, was able to snap a photo of the suspect as he fled.
“Every student has a camera right now, so if someone is doing something they shouldn’t, it’s a great way to help us get the person who’s done something,” said Nellie Meyer, Mount Diablo Unified School District superintendent.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his 40s who was wearing a blue windbreaker, a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, according to police.
Frank said a very similar incident occurred around 7:30 a.m. Monday when a man suddenly grabbed a girl's buttocks as she was walking to school on the Contra Costa Canal Trail near Pleasant Hill Middle School. The suspect ran from the scene and was not located.
Police said the victim described the suspect as a white man in his 30s with dirty blond hair and a thin build who is about 5 feet 6 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, tan jacket, blue jeans, a black backpack and sunglasses, according to Frank.
The sergeant said the same suspect could be behind both incidents, but that police "don't have enough to tie anything together yet."
Anyone with information about either case is asked to call Pleasant Hill police at (925) 288-4600.