ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Arlington reported that at least five teens have been assaulted in the city since November, and the FBI is now on the case. The most recent incident took place about a week and a half ago, and it appears to be linked to four other cases that were already under investigation.
In that most recent incident, two teenage girls, ages 14 and 15, said that they were walking along the 1900 block of Carter Drive in east Arlington when a man pushed one of them down to the ground and grabbed the other one.
All of the attacks were similar in nature, and one happened very close to Hutcheson Junior High School near New York Avenue. The victims are all between the ages of 12 to 16.
The Arlington Independent School District sent a letter home to parents back in January, after the fourth incident, even though no attacks were on school property. “We don’t want anyone to panic, but we do want to make sure everyone’s informed of what’s going on,” said Arlington ISD’s director of communications, Leslie Johnston.
Gisselle Guerrero’s mom insists on giving her 13-year-old daughter a ride to Hutcheson Junior High School, even though the family lives close enough for her to walk. “He’s affected a lot. I mean, I used to stay after school, sports or clubs or whatever. But now,” the teen said, “get out and go to my mom’s car, just so she can know I’m safe, so I can feel like I’m safe.”
The girls in all five cases were able to fight back against the man who touched them, but that man always managed to get away. The suspect has been described as a young Hispanic man in his 20s. The Arlington Police Department has released surveillance video of the suspect’s car, a new model, dark-colored Honda Civic.
“It’s frustrating,” Guerrero said. “I just want them to capture this guy.”
Police want to remind young woman to be extra careful, especially at night or when alone. “We want, number one, to bring awareness, so people are cautious, especially teenage girls if they’re out and about in the evenings,” said Arlington Police Department spokeswoman Tiara Richard on Tuesday. “Travel in groups. Make sure you’re aware of where you’re going, who’s around you and, if something happens, do like these girls did — scream, fight, draw attention to yourself.”
“Practice precaution,” added Johnston. “We have so many students who walk to and from school.”
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