Gary Dalton Derusha, Held for Lady Groping in a Second OC City, Could be Tied to a Third
An Anaheim man booked in August for allegedly groping six women in Tustin was recently arrested for groping and stalking a mom in Santa Ana—and he's being investigated for unsolved gropings in Anaheim.
Authorities fear 21-year-old Gary Dalton Derusha, who was a registered sex offender for sex with a minor before the groping cases, could move on to more serious sex crimes if his alleged urge to grope is not stopped.
A woman in her 20s was outside her Santa Ana home in the 1600 block of East 17th Street on May 21, when a young man came up from behind, pulled down her pants and grabbed a handful of ass.
A man described as being 18-20 did the same thing to females between June and August in Tustin—although he did not always pull their pants down and in some instances he apologized before fleeing.
It prompted Tustin Police to chart locations, set up surveillance for the Great Tustin Groper and, in August, arrest Derusha, who was on probation for the sex-with-a-minor rap at the time.
Booked on suspicion of multiple misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, he was out on bail Sept. 16, when the woman who had been groped in Santa Ana dropped off her child at an elementary school and noticed the young man who'd victimized her was following her home in a vehicle. She got the license plate number and called police.
According to Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, the plate on the car was traced back to Derusha, who was arrested last week. This photo of Derusha's car was released in case anyone recognizes it from similar incidents that have happened to them:
Santa Ana PD
News of his arrest caught the attention of police in Anaheim, where a string of gropings had happened.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.