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Police search for suspect in Clayton Heights assault

Assault of a teenaged girl last Sunday afternoon appears to be an isolated incident, Surrey RCMP say.
Surrey RCMP have released this composite sketch of a suspect wanted in connection with an assault of a teenager behind Clayton Heights Secondary.

Police are asking for the public's help identifying and locating a suspect wanted in connection with an assault of a teenage girl near Clayton Heights Secondary School that took place last Sunday afternoon.

On July 27 at around 2 p.m., the Surrey RCMP responded to a report of an assault on a 16-year-old girl who was walking on a pathway behind the school. That's where a man approached her from behind, put his arm around her neck. She screamed, and the man let her go.

He then fled on foot, heading northbound.

Despite extensive patrols and searches of the area with a police dog, investigators with the Surrey RCMP have not yet been able to identify the suspect, resulting in an appeal for public assistance.

The pathway is close to nearby homes, so police are hoping someone recognizes the suspect from a composite sketch released today. It was based on speaking with the girl and witnesses.

It appears to be an isolated incident, Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said.

"We haven't been able to link it to any similar incident," he said. "We're questioning what the motive was – was it robbery? We don't know."

Nevertheless, the incident is disturbing enough to compel police to make a public appeal.

"We can hopefully speak with this guy," he said.

Paquet praised the way the girl handled the situation.

"She actually reacted very well. The fact that she screamed just scared him."

The suspect is described as a white male in his mid 30s, six feet tall, with medium build and dark hair. He was wearing a rusty or tan-coloured tank top at the time of the incident. He also wore black shorts and sunglasses.

Anyone with information about the incident are asked to call Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS to remain anonymous.

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