Authorities Saturday are searching for a man who reportedly lunged at and grabbed a girl by the sweatshirt as she walked her bike to school in Home Gardens.
According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the girl — a student at Villegas Middle School — was able to break free and run away until she lost sight of the man.
The incident occurred at 6:34 a.m. Friday in the 11600 block of Indiana Avenue, about a mile and a half from the middle school and just west of Riverside, said Sgt. Edward Soto.
The suspect was described as being between 20 and 30 years old and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt pulled down around his face only revealing his eyes, with black sweatpants and black shoes with white stripes.
He did not have a weapon, Soto said.
The Press-Enterprise reported that at least one parent was upset over the delayed notification from the school about the incident.
Shelly Casas, whose 13-year-old son attends Villegas, told the newspaper that the school did not notify parents until eight hours after the alleged harassment, just before students were sent home for the day.
There are various other schools near where the incident took place, including Allan Orrenmaa Elementary School and Hillcrest High School.
Although sheriff’s deputies and Riverside city police searched the area Friday, they were not able to find the suspect, and an investigation was underway, Soto said.
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