Days after a man tried to sexually assault a teenage girl who was waiting for a ride home from her Ontario high school, police officers began canvassing the neighborhood to try to learn the attacker’s identity.
“He’s definitely a predator. … He may live close to the school,” said Ontario police Sgt. Jeff Higbee. “We’re checking all our [sex offender] registries.”
The 14-year-old drumline member was among a number of band members attending evening practice Saturday at Chafee High School.
When practice ended at 9 p.m., the girl stayed with a friend until the friend was picked up by their parents. She was alone waiting for her parents to arrive when the man pounced on her about 9:45 p.m., Higbee said.
The man grabbed the girl, pulled her into some nearby bushes and tore at her clothes, authorities said.
The girl managed to fight her way free and run away, but left behind her jacket and an iPod. By the time she found a campus staff member and alerted police, the man had fled.
Although the man remains at large, some of his movements were captured on surveillance camera, police said. Specifically, he was videotaped prowling around the campus roughly 30 minutes before the attack.
Higbee said it was important to note that even though the 100-pound girl was roughly half the size of her attacker, she effectively fought him off.
“Kudos to her for getting away from this guy and running. If you can get away from an attacker, do anything you can — fighting, screaming or just drawing attention to yourself — that’s what you want to do,” Higbee said.
Ontario police officials said the man ran toward 5th Street after the attack. He was described as 5-foot-10, about 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He had a patchy beard, a blue-and-gray hoodie with yellow writing on the sleeves, black jeans and white athletic shoes. A sketch of the suspect was released Wednesday.
Chaffee High School officials said that since the attack, they’ve arranged for a central, well-lighted area on the side of the campus for parents to pick up their children.
The girl’s mother told CBS-2 that her daughter won’t feel safe until the attacker is caught. “He’s taking … innocence away,” she said.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police at (909) 395-2001.
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