RCMP are investigating after a student was reportedly grabbed near Earl Marriott Secondary Thursday morning. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Police investigate at South Surrey high school after student reports nearby assault

Earl Marriott Secondary student was able to get away: district

A 16-year-old Earl Marriott Secondary student is safe after reportedly being grabbed by a man Thursday morning.

Police were on scene in the 1700-block of Lilac Drive at Alderwood Park, behind Earl Marriott, from approximately 7:40 a.m.

“A student reported that a man had attempted to accost her near the park… this morning on the way to school,” Surrey School District spokesman Doug Strachan told Peace Arch News.

“She’s fine. She got away.”

Strachan deferred further comment to police.

Police issued a news release shortly before noon, advising that “a female student who was walking in Alderwood Park… was grabbed by an unknown male who appeared to have been following her. The 16-year-old girl ran away from the suspect to (the) school.

“Police were immediately dispatched to the area but were unable to locate the suspect who fled prior to police arrival.”

According to one report, the student was grabbed by her hair before she was able to get free.

Surrey RCMP’s Special Victim Unit is leading the investigation, with assistance from the Youth Unit.

“Officers will be in the area canvassing the neighbourhood for any potential witnesses or surveillance video,” the release states.

The victim describes the suspect as a Caucasian man, 30 to 40 years old, fair complexion, short black hair, cleancut looking and wearing a black hoody and gloves.

The incident occurred near the same area where a 14-year-old student was grabbed back in September.

“Officers are comparing these two incidents to determine if there are any connections,” the release states.

According to police, the school district is sending a notice to notify parents and to remind students about safety.

Among safety tips:

· Don’t take short cuts. Use main routes and avoid lanes, forested or secluded areas.

· Walk in pairs or with friends.

· Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.

· Phone home when leaving a friend’s house and say when you will be home.

· Trust your instincts and your feelings.

· Phone home if you are going to be delayed, or if your plans change

Anyone with more information is asked to contact police at 604-599-0502 quoting file# 2017-181306

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