A 68-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday after he repeatedly groped a 13-year-old girl on a bus in Queens.
The incident happened around 7:40 a.m. on a city bus. Zacarias Timana was behind the teenager when he started to grope and fondle her backside. The young girl turned around told him to stop, to which he replied, “OK.” However, when she turned back around he began to grope and fondle her again, according to the New York Daily News.
When he wouldn’t stop touching her, the girl ran to the front of the bus to tell the driver what was going on. The driver immediately stopped the bus and called 911.
After the 68-year-old man was arrested, he told police that he regretted his actions.
“I made a mistake.”
In the past year, the number of people reporting these sex crimes and lewd acts in New York has risen drastically, according to Associated Press (AP). It occurs frequently on the the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which recently created a campaign to put an end to these crimes. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the city plans to “crack down on this sort of depraved behavior.”
Debjani Roy, the deputy director of Hollaback!, an advocacy group that collects accounts of street harassment, attested to the uprise of people reporting cases of groping and touching on public transportation.
“More people are feeling empowered to report incidents they might’ve just walked away from before. We hear stories every day of people groped, grabbed, public indecency on the subway.”
Zacarias Timana was arraigned Wednesday on several misdemeanor charges, including sexual abuse, forcible touching and child endangerment, and ordered released on his own recognizance.