Deputy suspected of groping North County teen, sheriff says

VISTA, Calif. -- A man who groped a teenage girl at a North County restaurant is a sheriff's deputy, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said Friday.

Gore said that a 32-year-old detention deputy who worked at Vista jail named Timothy Wilson Jr. was identified with the help of a CrimeStoppers bulletin that included surveillance footage from the restaurant.

On May 9, Gore said another Sheriff's employee identified Wilson as a potential look-alike suspect and notified the department.

Detectives interviewed witnesses and the victim and issued search warrants. On Friday, they arrested Wilson at work at the Vista Detention Facility. Gore said the deputy was placed on unpaid administrative leave and booked into jail in downtown San Diego on felony lewd act on a child charges.

The Sheriff added he was "deeply disappointed" in Wilson, who was a 10-year employee.

The investigation began on March 21, after a man walked into the Panda Express on Main Street in Vista and grabbed the 14-year-old girl’s buttocks while she was waiting in line to order food, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Surveillance video shows a man who deputies believe inappropriately grabbed a girl in Vista.(Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department)