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4 students attacked around Santa Clarita

March 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
People in the Santa Clarita area are being warned about a stalker trying to attack young women. There have been at least four attempts so far, possibly more.The latest victim was a 16-year-old girl on her way to high school. She managed to escape. The attacks include several communities in the Santa Clarita area.

Detectives say as the search continues for a suspect or suspects, they want to advise students to be on alert and to practice safety to and from school.

Many Saugus High School students left campus after school Friday afternoon with one goal: get home safely. Their concern comes on the heels of sheriff's deputies searching for a man who allegedly chased and tried to grab a Saugus student while she was on her way to school Thursday morning.

"I don't feel safe coming to school," said student Coryann Martinez. "Why would I even come to school if I know there's a chance of me getting kidnapped? I don't think that's safe."

Detectives say the suspect allegedly approached the student in a burgundy full-size pickup truck Thursday about 7:30 a.m. near the 27900 block of Fairway Lane and Saugus Rd.

William S. Hart Union High School District officials say the man allegedly asked the student if she wanted a ride. When she said no, he got out of his pickup truck and came after her.

"She felt he tried to grab her," said district spokesperson Pat Willett. "He may have grabbed at her coat or something. She took off running for the school and did what she was supposed to do. She came to the school and let them know."

Authorities say a little more than a week ago a similar event happened, when a man allegedly grabbed and groped a 16-year-old girl at the intersection of Shadow Pines Blvd. and Begonias Lane in Santa Clarita. Investigators say in this incident the teenager was on her way home from school.

"I don't want to get picked up by strangers," said student Abby Mills. "That's scary. That's dangerous."

Pat Williett says within the past month there's been a rash of similar incidents.

"We've had maybe four or five similar incidents, not even that sound like the same perpetrator, but they involve a number of our different campuses," said Willett.

"I'm scared because I have two children in school here," said one parent Friday. "I have one that goes here and one in junior high."

"Very scary because I have a grandson that goes here and I have my son that goes here," said parent Rita Navarro. "It's very scary."

School district officials have issued safety guidelines to students and parents. Some of the tips include:

"Walk in groups. Avoid taking shortcuts through alleys. Don't walk the riverbed or go into areas with a lot of bushes. If someone approaches them, don't be afraid to scream and run," said Willett.

Detectives say they don't know if the attacks are connected. They need your help making an arrest. If you have a tip you can call detectives at (661) 254-8653.


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