HOUSTON, TX-- Here's another reason to hold your kids close. A 16-year-old student at YES Prep West on Harwin says she was walking to school Tuesday morning when a black SUV approached her. The guy driving wanted directions, but before she knew it, he pulled a knife and told her to get in the car. That's when he sexually assaulted her.
Afterwards, he drove into a strip center next to the school and dumped her out. A business there was getting deliveries at their loading dock when the girl ran inside for help. The owner, who asked we not identify her by name, helped the girl call 911, "She was shaking and crying and I gave her a hug. I say, 'What's going on?'" The teen didn't tell her, but she did tell the 911 operator.
She described her abductor as Hispanic with a beard between 35 and 40 years old. He was wearing a hoodie and, again, driving a black SUV.
If you know who he might be, call Houston police (713-222-TIPS).
YES Prep told us they are "deeply saddened" to hear about this incident and are keeping in contact with the student's family and the police.
"Ask any mother. Something like this happens to their child, I would freak!" said Cassandra Hicks, who has a daughter AT YES Prep the same age as the victim.
"It's pretty scary 'cause, you know, that person might be stronger than all of us put together," said one student after school, "and maybe just take one of us."
Shop owners in the strip center next to the school didn't seem surprised, saying it's a rough part of town. "I think children should be accompanied going through this neighborhood," said Jackie DeAngelis, after learning about the assault. "Watch your kid 'til they get to the door."
Good advice, especially with the suspect in this case still out there on our streets.