Tulsa sex crime detectives say an Tulsa high school student was sexually assaulted as she walked to school Wednesday morning. They are asking for help in identifying her attacker.
The 18-year-old Union High School student told officers she was passing an apartment complex in the 7200 block of South 89th East Avenue at 7:45 a.m. when a man started following her. When she walked through a shopping complex on the north side of 9000 East 71st Street, the man grabbed her and forced her into a retention area behind the complex.
He then sexually assaulted her, according to a news bulletin issued by police Friday morning. The girl went home and called police.
The incident had many Union High School students on high alert.
"It's tragic and it's something like that is what ruins people's lives," said Mahan Kham, a junior at Union High School.
Kham said she didn't know the victim, but knows how the 18-year-old girl must feel.
"It makes you feel really uncomfortable that somebody will do that to just a female walking," Kham said. "I hate to say it, but I kind of have, like, sort of a personal experience with it, so I can kind of figure what she's going through and it's just not something that needs to happen to anybody."
The suspect is described as a black male between 16 and 18 years of age. He is 6' tall with an average build and no facial hair. He was wearing a gray hoodie jacket with lettering on it, blue jeans and blue and white high top athletic shoes.
He was also wearing a do-rag that covered his hair, police say.
Officers released a photo of the man taken by a surveillance camera as he walked past a business in the area. They know it's not a great photo but hope it helps.
"Maybe this is a hoodie that this individual maybe wears every day, or if you can maybe remember back, maybe this was somebody that you know left your home in that same clothing description, please give us that information," said Officer Jill Roberson, Tulsa Police.
If you think you know the suspect or have any information that might help police investigate this crime, call Crime Stoppers at 918-596 COPS.
Union Public Schools responded to the incident by sending a message to Union parents:
Union Public Schools is working with the Tulsa Police Department after officials received a report of an alleged attack on an 18-year-old student Wednesday. School security and administrators are assisting the police with the investigation and have increased patrols around the High School. We are very concerned about this incident and concerned about the safety of our students.
We ask that parents take this opportunity to visit with their children about basic safety procedures such as walking in groups and being aware of their surroundings. Police have asked that any information be directed to Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.