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South Simcoe Police investigating assault outside a school

People with information are asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Bureau or Crime Stoppers
South Simcoe Police station is pictured in this file photo. Sue Sgambati/BarrieToday

Bradford, Ont. - South Simcoe Police are currently investigating an assault that occurred outside an Elementary School on Professor Day Drive in the Town of West Gwillimbury on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at approximately 3:15 p.m.

The victim, a 15-year-old female, was standing outside the school, when she was approached by an unknown male. The male approached her from behind and wrapped both his arms around her. The victim attempted to alert a female bystander who was standing in the immediate area, at which time the suspect put his hand over the victim's mouth.

The bystander noticed the interaction and indicated she was calling police. The suspect released the victim and fled on foot, southbound in a field which is located south of the school towards Blue Dasher Boulevard.

The suspect is described as:

  • Male White
  • 5'10", Thin Build
  • In his 50's or 60's
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • White hair. Full white beard
  • Wearing glasses
  • White and black striped toque
  • Black hooded sweater
  • Blue Jeans
  • Black Shoes

South Simcoe Police are appealing for the bystander who intervened in this occurrence or any witnesses to call the Criminal Investigations Bureau at (905) 775-3311 or Crime Stoppers.

Although the occurrence did not happen on school property, South Simcoe Police are working with the Simcoe County District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board to alert students and parents as this occurrence did happen within close proximity to an elementary school and two high schools.

Police are providing the following safety tips for students:

  • If your child walks to school or to the bus stop, try to arrange a walking buddy or group.
  • If your child walks to school, make sure they go along main routes that are well-travelled, rather than taking shortcuts through deserted areas.
  • Develop a "what if" game for your child to get them thinking about how they would respond if they felt threatened or afraid.
  • Know who your child is with and where they go. This includes keeping a list of their friend's addresses and phone numbers.
  • Teach your children where and how to get help. Go with them on their regularly travelled routes and identify safe places to go for help.
  • Teach your child to talk to you immediately when someone does anything that makes them feel strange or uncomfortable. Listen when your child is trying to tell you about something that bothers them and provide them with support and understanding.