Man accused of fondling sleeping passenger on light-rail train in Mesa

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Theo Rogers Jr. By Jennifer Thomas Theo Rogers Jr. By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police arrested a 40-year-old man after witnesses said he fondled a sleeping passenger on a Valley Metro Light Rail train Tuesday night.

At approximately 9:50 p.m., Mesa police officers were called to the Sycamore station after light-rail officials detained Theo Rogers Jr.

Employees reported that Rogers and other passengers were on the train when it arrived at the Sycamore station. They said Rogers exited the train but then re-boarded and sat in front of a male passenger who had fallen asleep.

According to Mesa police Detective Steve Berry, the employees said they continued their work outside the train and thought Rogers was acting odd as they viewed him through the window.

They said at first they suspected that Rogers might try to steal something from the sleeping victim then they saw Rogers reach over the seat and start fondling the victim's groin.

According to the employees, Rogers occasionally looked around to see if anyone was watching and then continued the activity.

The employees told the officers that they banged on the window to try and get Rogers' attention and to get him to stop. They said he didn't seem to hear the banging and reportedly continued fondling the victim.

The employees contacted rail security and Rogers was detained until police officers arrived.

Rogers reportedly was not cooperative with police and requested an attorney. He was booked for one felony count of sexual abuse.