Assault on Child Prompts Schools to Increase Security
Posted October 28, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
WELDON — Police are looking for a man who may be stalking kids on school campuses. The man has already assaulted one child in the Halifax County town of Weldon. He may have been looking for another.
At two different schools on separate days, police believe the suspect was planning a kidnapping. The first incident occurred at Weldon Elementary School last Thursday.
The man attacked a 10-year-old girl who was carrying a teacher's note to a classroom in another building. The man knocked her to the ground, then beat and kicked her before driving away.
The student received several bumps and bruises, but escaped serious injury. Five days later, students at Enfield Middle School claimed they saw a similar looking man milling around their campus. Both schools are on alert.
"We have certainly beefed up security and we're monitoring on campus, both inside and outside the building," Weldon Schools spokesperson Gail Wade said.
The attack led to some immediate policy changes in the Weldon School System, including the age old practice of sending students back and forth between buildings with notes. Students are also not allowed outside without an adult nearby.
Enfield Middle School installed surveillance cameras about a week ago. School leaders will keep a constant eye on what goes on inside and outside the building.
"Children tend to be trusting and a lot of times they won't pay attention to another person unless there's something that really triggers in their mind that they need to be aware," Enfield Middle School principal Carol Turner said.
School leaders say they will use their resources as much as they can, but their most effective weapon is parents who caution their students to watch out for strangers.
Investigators say the suspect is in his 20's or 30's. He stands about 5 feet 8 inches tall with a slim build and blonde, shoulder length hair. He was last seen driving a red sports car.