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Man grabs Turlock girl walking to school
roland 1
Garret Roland

The Turlock Police Department has arrested a 23-year-old man on allegations he sexually assaulted a teenage girl as she walked to school Thursday morning.

Garret Roland, 23, was apprehended around 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the 500 block area of Minaret Avenue and arrested on suspicion of sexual battery, trespassing, and misdemeanor child molestation.

The victim, a 14-year-old girl, was walking to school Thursday morning when an unknown man, later identified as Roland, approached her and propositioned her for sex, said Turlock Police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.

The girl refused the man and continued walking. The suspect followed the girl and continued to proposition her, Lewis said.

Roland allegedly then ran up behind the girl and grabbed her buttocks.

The girl was able to get away from Roland and reported the incident to a third party, who in turn informed the Turlock Police Department.

Officers checked the area and found Roland hiding near the library, Lewis said. The victim positively identified Roland as the man who grabbed her, Lewis said.

Thursday’s incident was not the first time this year that teen girls have been accosted by an unknown male.

In March an unidentified man accosted several girls as they walked to and from school in the area near the Pitman and Turlock Junior High campuses.

The suspect in those attacks was never apprehended. He was described as a white male adult, possibly in his 20s. He stood about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 10 inches and weighed approximately between 150 to 170 pounds. He has light brown or reddish hair with a scruffy beard.

In September a man jumped out the bushes near the area of W. Christofferson Parkway and Crowell Road and grabbed two young girls riding their bikes. The suspect was not caught. He was described as a as a white male in his 20s. He had shoulder length red hair and was wearing a gray or white T-shirt and dark pants. He also had a red mark on the side of his forehead.

The investigations into the other cases remains ongoing.