SAN JOSE CA Jan 5 2018 –– Authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a suspect in the random sexual assault and robbery of a teacher at Harker Middle School just an hour before students were set to return to campus after the winter break.
The attack occurred in a classroom on the campus at 3800 Blackford Ave. about 6 a.m., said school spokeswoman Pam Dickinson, adding that students arrive between 7 and 8 a.m. for school. San Jose police were notified about 6:30 a.m., said San Jose Police Officer Gina Tepoorten.
“This teacher came in early to eagerly prepare her classroom for the first day of school today after the winter break,” Dickinson said.
Tepoorten said the attack appears to be random. She was not aware of any similar cases in the area.
The suspect was described as a Latino man in his 20s with a heavy build. He was last seen walking toward Boynton Avenue, wearing a black beanie, dark blue jeans and a black T-shirt.
Police released surveillance camera images and video of the suspect hoping that someone might recognize him.
In a statement Tuesday night, the school said it was “saddened and upset” by the attack and “leaning in to provide support and privacy to our employee and each other.”
“We are cooperating fully with the authorities and providing them any support needed to help in finding the perpetrator,” the statement said.
Police plan to have a presence at the school and increase patrols in the area while they search for the suspect.
“We will be out there before, during and after school to ensure everyone’s safety,” Tepoorten said.
Students are under adult supervision from the moment they step foot on campus, but the school will be beefing up security on and around the campus indefinitely as an added measure, Dickinson said.
“The safety and security of our students, faculty and staff have always been paramount and we regularly review all protocols for any additional ways we can help keep our community safe,” the statement said.
“We are hopeful that the efforts of the police and the community will result in a swift arrest.”
Anyone with information about the suspect can call Det. Sgt. Samantha Huynh or Det. Jennifer Majors of the San Jose Police Department’s Sexual Assault Investigations Unit at 408-277-4102, or 911.
Those wishing to remain anonymous can leave at tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP (7867) or svcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.
San Jose Mercury