Police: Man groped 13-year-old girl on way to school

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MELBOURNE, Fla. - A Brevard County man was arrested Friday after police said he groped a teenager while she was walking on her way to middle school.

Melbourne's police said the 13-year-old was walking to school alone on Thursday when police said 23-year-old Patrick Lee McAuliffe came up from behind her and groped her.

Investigators said McAuliffe touched the girl on her breast and buttocks.

"He did come up from behind her. She was not aware that he was there until he touched her. When she turned around is when he fled on foot," said Sgt. Jennifer Dick, of the West Melbourne Police Department.

Police said the girl immediately ran to some friends nearby and they reported the incident to police.

Police said undercover officers were patrolling the area of Wingate Boulevard on Friday following Thursday's reported incident. They said McAuliffe showed up, driving a red Mercury four-door car by the same area twice. They pulled him over and arrested him.

Police believe he was looking for the same 13-year-old girl.

McAuliffe, who lives in Melbourne, will be held at the Brevard County Jail on a $15,500 bond, investigators said. They said he is charged with driving on a suspended license and lewd and lascivious molestation.

Police said they don't know of other incidents involving McAuliffe. Police are urging parents to call them if they know of any similar incidents.

 In June 2009, McAuliffe was arrested and charged with stalking and repeatedly following another 13-year-old girl to a bus stop in Palm Bay.

McAuliffe was eventually sentenced to prison for 30 months, but he was released after just 23 months.