Groping suspect arrested

COSTA MESA — Police on Thursday arrested a man accused of groping two girls on an Orange County Transit Authority bus.

Herath Premaratnea, 55, of Los Angeles was taken into custody shortly after 6 p.m.

Police say surveillance video shown on a local news station helped lead them to the suspect.

Apparently, after the story aired, someone called police to report they recognized the man as Premaratnea and knew where he was.

Premaratnea is suspected of being involved in at least two incidents that happened about 5:40 p.m. Monday aboard the OCTA bus traveling near Placentia Avenue and 18th Street in Costa Mesa.

Security video from the bus shows a man trying to molest a girl on the bus. That victim did not report the incident, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

The man then sat next to a 16-year-old girl and began rubbing her leg and attempted to unzip her pants.

Amormino says the girl turned away from the man, apparently in fear.

At that point the girl's boyfriend called her on her cell phone.

She told her boyfriend what happened, and he and his father picked her up when she got off the bus.

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