Girl assaulted while leaving middle school; suspect at large

Bay Area

SANTA CRUZ (KRON) – Authorities are warning both parents and children to be alert and aware of all surroundings after a young girl was assaulted while leaving school on Tuesday.

Officials said the 13-year-old girl had just left San Lorenzo Valley Middle School and was walking on a trail near the 7000 block of Highway 9, en route to her mother’s work, when she was approached by an unidentified man.

The man tried to talk to the girl before grabbing her arm and grabbing her backpack strap, authorities said.

The girl was able to fight off her attacker and run away.

The suspect was last seen running near San Lorenzo Valley Middle School.

He is described as a white man in his late 20s with dirty light-brown hair almost in dreadlocks. He also had facial hair, was roughly 6’4″, and a thin build.

“We are grateful the young victim got away unharmed, but we are asking everyone to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. In the meantime, patrol deputies, Community Policing, surrounding schools, and parents have been notified. Investigators have been working on the case to identify the suspect and patrol deputies are providing increased security around the school.,” authorities said in a statement released Wednesday.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has any information is asked to contact Sergeant Chris Shearer at 831-454-7645.

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