Girl allegedly assaulted in Garfield Park

May 13, 2008 5:11:03 PM PDT
Police are investigating the alleged sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl in the Garfield Park neighborhood. The girl says a man attacked her while she was walking in the 600 block of North Ridgeway, which is one block from Ryerson Elementary School, Monday morning.

Police are not releasing many details about the attack. They say at this point these are just allegations and they are issuing a community alert.

It is not clear if the girl is a student at Ryerson Elementary School.

Some parents say they are concerned but they also say they believe security in and around the school is good.

"I was disappointed from what I heard. I didn't know that she was a young girl. I heard it on the news that she got assaulted around here. It's not a bad neighborhood. It's OK. School is good. My boys go here," said Jonathan Tate, parent.

"It scares me but the security is pretty decent around here. They come out all the time and they do their job. But I heard that it happened like a block away," said Tabitha Simmons, parent.

Police are working on a description of the suspect.

Police have not yet released a community alert regarding this alleged assault. They tell us they continue to work with the girl trying to be sensitive toward her while gathering all the facts and that as soon as they have enough information to release to the public, they will do so.

"We were here from nine o'clock to 12 o'clock sitting on the porch. And we heard nothing," said resident Elaine Jackson.

Other people were worried that someone could be preying on their kids as they walk to school.

"We were out here at the same time and trying to figure this out," said resident Gary Pickett.

It's not yet clear whether any of the security or police cameras located around the school may have captured the incident. But even as detectives continue to investigate, a former security guard at Ryerson says it's not the first time a child would have been assaulted there.

"Before this, a little girl got assaulted at the front door. I had to take it upon myself to get the father of the little girl to bring him up there," said Vernon Mems, former school security guard.

"They need to have some adult or some, a brother or sister or person walking with them," said resident Denise Bursey.

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