Investigation underway over report of attempted rape of student with special needs at Lakewood High School

LAKEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies converged on Lakewood High School Friday night in response to a call of an attempted rape of a student with special needs in the bathroom.

Mario Jimenez, the school's principal, sent an audio message to parents and students in the evening regarding the incident.

"We had a report that a student may have been assaulted on our campus," he said. "We have been in close touch with law enforcement and they are looking into this matter."

The sheriff's department said the suspect is still on the loose, but they have not provided a description of the suspect or who they may be looking for.

"Well, if you ask me personally, as a woman coming to Lakewood High School, I don't feel safe," senior Natalie Salinas said.

Witnesses said a man may have hopped the fence to get on campus and then went into the campus bathroom.

One Lakewood school parent said her daughter saw the suspect on campus earlier Friday, without an ID badge that students are required to wear at all times and who was wearing a fishing hat. That part matches the description heard on law enforcement scanner traffic, but none of the information was confirmed by the department.

Parents who spoke with Eyewitness News were upset.

"I think the school needs to do a little better job. That's unacceptable here in Lakewood," parent Darrell Henry said.

The investigation is ongoing.
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