Probationer accused of groping 3 women

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SAN DIEGO — A probationer who allegedly groped three female pedestrians in quick succession alongside downtown streets Tuesday afternoon was arrested a short time later by a federal agent who witnessed the third encounter.

arrestTwo of the women made emergency calls shortly before 2:30 p.m. to report that a disheveled man had just fondled their buttocks as they were walking in the 700 block of G Street and near the intersection of Market and Union streets, according to San Diego police.

Within 10 minutes, a U.S. Homeland Security officer driving through the Core-Columbia area witnessed the same type of assault at Front and West C Streets, San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer said.

The lawman followed the suspected assailant in his car for a short distance, then pulled over and chased him down along with two security personnel who happened in the area.

The suspect, later identified as Arturo H. Lopez, 43, stopped running and surrendered when the federal officer pulled his gun and ordered him to halt, Mayer said.

Lopez was booked into county jail on suspicion of misdemeanor sexual battery and violating terms of his probation.

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