PD: Undercover officers catch drive-by groper near south Phoenix school

Posted at 1:34 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 20:50:29-04

Undercover officers located a man accused of groping a woman as he drove by and it's not the first time.

Court records reveal that a man would drive next to women in his SUV and grab them, because, "he has trouble meeting women."

Police report that on May 11 near 42nd Street and Southern Avenue, a woman was walking with her 8-year-old niece, when a man allegedly drove up to them and reached out of the SUV grabbing the woman in a sexual manner. 

On May 19 in the same area, he struck again grabbing the arm of another woman as she was walking home after dropping her children off at school.

In checking police records, police identified a man who was convicted of similar crimes in 2011. A photo of 29-year-old Ernest Lee Perez Junior was shown to the victims and they positively identified him as their assailant. 

Undercover officers where conducting surveillance on Perez when on August 4th they saw him driving near Nevitt Elementary School near 44th Street and Southern Avenue.

They reportedly saw Perez cross traffic in an attempt to contact two women who were pushing strollers on the sidewalk. Perez allegedly tried to make contact with one the women but drove off. Police captured him a few blocks away. 

Perez allegedly admitted to police that he grabbed the two women saying, "he thought they were pretty," and "he has issues meeting women and this is his way of contacting them."

Perez has been charged with kidnapping.