HOUSTON -- They are supposed to be in their carefree years, and their school a safe place to enjoy them.
“You’re parents always tell you to stay away from strange people,” said ninth grader Rosie Rivas. “How can you do that when you’re in your own school?”
She’s talking about what happened at Stephen F. Austin High School on February 4. Surveillance video shows a man wearing a hooded jacket enter the school and start roaming the halls. Police say he approached a female student, grabbed her by the waist and began to kiss her. When she resisted, he pinned her against the wall and tried again. That’s when she managed to escape and report the incident to the office.
“The principal announced that we were on lock down, and that someone was in the school who wasn’t supposed to be,” said ninth grader Matthew Garcia.
“Teachers grabbed the students that were in the hallways and restrooms,” said Rivas. “They brought them to the library and locked library door.”
The man had already fled campus.
“It’s scary,” said Garcia. “That person could have had a gun and really hurt someone.”
Two days later, police say, the same suspect made a second appearance, soliciting a student for sex near campus as she walked to school. He said, “Hey girl, you want to go with me?”
“After happening twice in the same week, it’s frightening, because you never know what’s going to happen to somebody else.”
Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, standing between 5’5”-5’6” tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with elaborate and distinguishing tattoos around his neck and shoulders.
As Crime Stoppers and investigators with the Houston Independent School District Police Department continue their investigation, anyone with information about these incidents is urged to call 713-222-TIPS (8477).
Below is video of the suspect on school grounds: