FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents in one Fort Worth neighborhood are watching very closely as their children head to school this week. This comes after an attack on a teenager who was walking to her bus stop in the early morning hours last Thursday. The community is now taking action.
While a few parents were at the bus stop to meet their kids when school let out in west Fort Worth on Friday afternoon, other children were still on their own. But parents are now planning to make sure that someone will always be watching over those students as they head to and from school each day.
Pastor Derwin Harris, whose Restoration Center provides assistance in the community, said that volunteers will meet Monday evening to organize daily patrols around elementary schools in the Western Hills neighborhood. Harris said, “Protect our kids from the enemy, these predators and people in the community trying to do our children harm.”
The community meeting is Monday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Restoration Center offices.
“It’s time for the community to step up,” Harris added, “because I believe we’re the protectors of the community.”
Ahead of Monday night’s meeting, a Fort Worth Independent School District transportation patrol officer — who also happens to be a retired police officer — monitored the area where the teenager was attacked. More than one bus arrives at this bus stop each morning, and again in the afternoon, to transport children.
Meanwhile, police continue to look for the attacker who put the 13-year-old girl in the hospital. The assault happened at about 6:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, along Calmont Avenue near Laredo Drive. The bus driver found the International Newcomer Academy student bleeding and injured near her bus stop.
The teenager remains hospitalized and is still recovering from her injuries, days after the brutal attack.
“It’s sad, man. Messing with little kids, it’s not right,” said Joe McCabe, the parent of a daughter, on Monday morning. “I walk her up here every day and pick her up every day. We only live right down here. I mean, it’s not that far, but there ain’t no way I’m letting her come up here, back and forth, on her own.”
According to authorities, somebody grabbed the girl and beat her along the street. Officials do not know if this was a crime of opportunity, or if someone wanted to harm this specific girl. Investigators have collected video from cameras at the school and a nearby church, and are talking to children and nearby apartment complex residents as the search for clues continues.
Police do not have a good description of the suspect, so far only believed to be a man between 30 and 40 years old.
“I got a little girl, so of course I’m going to be worried,” another father said.
“It scare me very bad,” added a concerned mother.