A New Jersey man was caught groping a 15-year-old girl on a subway train in Manhattan. Police said Thursday, they’ve arrested him, and have linked him to at least two other groping incidents.
A team of NY transit cops in street clothes first took notice of 34-year-old Patricio Penaloza as he scoped out victims. He was waiting for the 1 train on Tuesday at around 7:40 AM at the 59th St.-Columbus Circle station.
Plainclothes officers followed the suspect onto the 1 train. That’s when they caught him touch the buttocks of a girl repeatedly. The 15-year-old teen was assaulted near the 66th St.-Lincoln Center station. According to cops, Penaloza was arrested on the spot.
After his arrest, investigators were able to link Penaloza to two more incidents involving groping. Cops say both incidents took place at the 66th St. station on March 1.
In one, around 7:45 a.m., he walked in front of a 16-year-old girl as they passed through a turnstile, police sources said. He then turned around and grabbed the girl’s crotch.
Later that morning, he twice groped the crotch of a 15-year-old girl, first by a train door and then in the mezzanine area, according to officials.
Penaloza was arraigned Wednesday on several misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse, forcible touching and child endangerment, sources said. He remains held on $500 bond.