Turlock police are increasing patrols near some local schools, following three separate assaults of teenage female students by an unknown male suspect on Monday and Tuesday.
All three assaults took place in the area of Christoffersen Parkway between Walnut Road and McKenna Drive.
The first attack took place at 3:50 p.m. Monday while a 16-year-old victim was walking home from Pitman High School. The victim was walking eastbound on Christoffersen Parkway near McKenna Drive when the suspect, who was walking the opposite direction, walked past the victim and groped her, said Turlock Police Deparment spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.
The victim ran to All Saints Catholic Church on the corner of Christoffersen Parkway and McKenna Drive, where she notified church staff of the incident. Police were called and responded, but after an area check the suspect was not located, said Lewis.
The second victim was walking to Pitman High School, traveling westbound on Christoffersen Parkway near Walnut Road, at 7:20 a.m. on Tuesday when she was assaulted. The 14-year-old victim was inappropriately touched on her front and backside, said Lewis.
The girl walked the rest of the way to school and notified a school counselor of the incident, who then notified the school resource officer.
The assailant allegedly fled north on Walnut Road to Shady Lane, where he encountered the third victim – a 13-year-old female student walking to Turlock Junior High School. The suspect grabbed the victim’s arm, but the she was able to push the suspect away and ran to TJHS. She notified school officials who then called police, said Lewis.
Due to the three attacks, police have increased their presence in the area around schools and where the attacks took place. The Turlock Police Department has also assigned specialized units to the areas, said Lewis.
All three girls are safe and attended school on Tuesday.
The three girls all gave a similar description of the suspect as a Caucasian male in his mid-20s, weighing between 150 and 170 pounds and standing between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was described as having light brown/reddish hair with scruffy facial hair.
He was described as wearing jeans and a gray zip-up hooded sweatshirt during Monday’s attack. Both of Tuesday’s victims described the suspect as wearing tan/brown pants with a dark hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.
The Turlock Unified School District notified parents of the assaults via automated calls around 10 a.m. Tuesday. The calls asked parents to help locate the suspect, and to take precaution before and after school until the suspect is apprehended.
Since the robocalls, the Turlock Police Department has received several tips from citizens, but none have led to a person of interest. Police had one man detained around 2:00 p.m., but it turned out that he was not the suspect, said Lewis.
Anyone with information on the location of the suspect is asked to call the Turlock Police Department at 209-668-1200 for non-emergencies, or 911 in the event of an attack.
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