DOLTON, Ill. (WLS) --A 12-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted while walking to school in south suburban Dolton, police said.
Police said the girl was walking southbound on Lincoln Avenue between 8:15 a.m. and 9:29 a.m. on June 3 after missing her morning school bus. Investigators said she took a shortcut through a weeded area in the 151st block of Cornell when an unknown attacker, who had a small silver handgun, allegedly took her to a more secluded area and sexually assaulted her.
"I've seen kids go through here, but they're normally in groups," said Dr. Briditte Garth-Young, a Dolton resident whose home backs up to the field where the incident happened. "It is very disturbing, especially for me, I work for the school system and it's right behind my house, I stay in the neighborhood."
"It was a crime of opportunity, I guess he was there and she was alone going to school, I believe she was late for school," said Dolton Police Commander Glenn Ores. "It's sad it happened."
The offender is described as an African American male around 20-30 years-old, 6-foot-4 with a tattoo of "773" on his right forearm, police said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police, and area residents are being warned not to let their children walk alone.
"Be cautious, if they see anybody suspicious, alert us, we had fliers go out and if anybody has knowledge of this, let the Dolton Police Department know," Ores said.
"It does concern me because it couldn't just happen to a kid, it could happen to anybody," Garth-Young said.