Student reports assault

January 29, 2003 11:00 pm

By AMY LINDBLOM

A Sonora Elementary School eighth-grade student was approached and grabbed by a man yesterday morning near the Greenley Road campus.

The 13-year-old girl broke away and ran to the school office, and Principal Fred Barreiro called Sonora police immediately after the 8 a.m. incident.

Despite a search of the areas surrounding the school, the man was not found.

Sonora Police Officer John Bowly said the girl was walking to school after being dropped off on Delnero Drive by a parent.

She was on a short sidewalk bridge between the school and Bob's Greenley Pharmacy when a man approached her.

The girl told Bowly that a man — about 45 to 50 years old with long, dirty-blond hair down to his shoulders and a brown moustache and beard — grabbed hold of her arm.

She told Bowly she slapped the man's hand, he ran away and she ran the rest of the way to school, where she reported the incident.

The girl could not describe what the man was wearing and did not see whether he left in a vehicle.

"She was visibly shaken when I talked with her, and more so when I took her down to the sidewalk where she said it happened," Bowly said. "I believe this girl was telling the truth."

Barreiro said the girl was unharmed and remained at school all day. A notice about the incident was sent to parents and to all the other schools in Tuolumne County.

Anyone with information or anyone who has seen a suspicious-looking person around a school campus is asked to call Sonora Police at 532-8143 or the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department at 533-5815.