Eugene police and school district officials are on “high alert” after a 9-year-old student at Eugene Corridor
Elementary School reported Monday that an unidentified man grabbed her while she stood at a campus water fountain, a police spokeswoman said.
The apparent abduction attempt occurred fewer than four weeks after another student who attends school at the same north Eugene campus reported a similar incident. Police do not know whether the cases are related.
The girl who reported being approached by a stranger at about 1 p.m. on Monday is “very credible,” police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said.
The girl said she had been trying to use a water fountain on the school’s south side when a man grabbed one of her arms. She told police that she was able to escape from the man before he ran from the area, McLaughlin said.
“This is the kind of incident that puts both the school and police on high alert,” she said.
The male fled on foot, and police conducted a search of the immediate area without success.
Police described the man as white, about 5-feet-10-inches tall, clean shaven and with short brown hair, and wearing a green shirt and slacks or jeans. They asked anyone with information to call them at 541-682-5111.
The alternative school at 250 Silver Lane shares its campus with Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School. A student of Yujin Gakuen reported being accosted on Nov. 9.
In that case, a girl told school and police officials that she had been walking in a campus breezeway when someone grabbed her from behind and briefly choked her while holding an arm around her neck, Yujin Gakuen/*Eugene Corridor Principal Tom Piowaty said in a Nov. 20 e-mail to parents of the two schools’ students.
The girl said she did not know whether the person who had grabbed her was a male or a female. Whoever it was reportedly let her go and pushed her before walking away, Piowaty said.
Police found no evidence that an intruder had come onto the campus and attacked the girl on Nov. 9, Piowaty said.
Piowaty on Monday recorded a message that went out by telephone to parents of both schools to inform them of the latest reported incident.
In the message, Piowaty asked parents “as a precaution” to pick up their children after school, rather than allow them to walk home. Staff members remained in the school gymnasium with students until authorized adults arrived to take them home.
Eugene School District spokeswoman Kerry Delf said teachers on Monday “locked down” students in classrooms immediately after the girl told officials that she had been grabbed.
School officials decided after the Nov. 9 report that they will improve security by putting up a fence around the entire campus perimeter, Delf said. The fence has not yet been erected.