PHOENIX — Phoenix police say an alleged child abuser who reportedly targeted teenage girls on city buses was recently arrested.
According to the Phoenix Police Department, 53-year-old Martin Huerta-Herrera was arrested for his alleged connection to assault cases.
Police officials say on November 15 around 7 a.m, Herrera was on a city bus near 35th Avenue and Camelback Road when he allegedly pushed his lower body against the hand of a teenage girl as she was getting off the bus. The interaction occurred over Herrera's clothing, and was not reported until the victim arrived at school, police say.
During the investigation, police made a connection to a similar incident that happened on April 24, 2017, during which a man was on a bus and put his hand on the thigh of a teenage girl over her clothing. The girl pushed the man's hand away, but he then reportedly grabbed her hand and forced her to "touch him over the clothing." Police said this incident also happened in the area of 35th Avenue and Camelback Road, but officers were unable to identify or locate the suspect at that time.
On November 21, officers spotted Herrera in the area of 35th Avenue and Thomas Road and noticed that he fit the description from the November 15 incident. Investigators also determined Hererra to be the suspect in the 2017 incident.
After taking Herrera into custody, police say he admitted to being the suspect in the video of both incidents during his interview.
Herrera was booked into jail and faces charges for sexual abuse for both the 2017 and 2019 incident.
PD arrested a suspected child abuser targeting victims on city buses. The first case happened in April of 2017 near 35th Ave & Thomas. When a second crime happened this month, an observant police assistant connected the two cases. 53-year-old Martin Huerta-Herrera was arrested. pic.twitter.com/Rt16c0r5fG— Phoenix Police Department (@phoenixpolice) November 24, 2019