Police are seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect who allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl in Surrey’s Cloverdale area this morning, just before the start of the school day.
According to Surrey RCMP, the incident occurred at approximately 7:50 am when officers received a report of a 15-year-old student who was allegedly grabbed from behind and groped by an unknown male in the 18800 block of 69th Avenue near Clayton Heights Secondary School.
At the time, the girl was on her way to school. Fortunately, she managed to free herself from the suspect and run back home, and was not injured in the ordeal.
Officers were immediately dispatched to the area, but the suspect was not located as he fled from the scene.
Police describe the suspect as a Caucasian male and in his 30s or 40s. He was wearing a dark hoody and grey and blue washed-out jeans.
The investigation is being led by Surrey RCMP’s Special Victims Unit.
“Officers are looking into whether this incident is related to any other similar incidents,” reads a release. “Officers are also working with school officials to remind students and parents about general safety tips. The Surrey School District has sent a letter home to notify parents of this incident.”
The following safety tips for students walking to school are recommended by the Surrey RCMP:
- Don’t take short cuts. Use main routes and avoid lanes, forested or secluded areas.
- Walk with friends.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
- Phone home when leaving a friend’s house and say when you will be home.
- Trust your instincts and your feelings.
- Phone home if you are going to be delayed, or if your plans change
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers’ anonymous hotline at 1-800-222-8477.