The principal of San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas is warning students to be vigilant in light of the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of one of the school’s students.
“If you walk to or from school, do so with other students as there is safety in numbers, always remain cognizant of your surroundings, and always think about means of escape should trouble arise,” Principal Michael Grove wrote in an email to parents.
He advised parents to drop off or pick up their children at one of three entry points; the front lot off of Santa Fe Dr., the entry gate off of Melba Dr. at the north east corner of campus, or at the entry gate on Bonita Dr.
“All of these entry points will be open for student access and will be staffed by school personnel before and after school,” Grove wrote.
The 10th grader was allegedly snatched off an Encinitas street, forced into a car, sexually assaulted while the suspects drove around for an hour and then pushed out of the car, according to deputies.
The 15-year-old was walking home from San Dieguito Academy at about 4:10 p.m. near the 800 block of Melba Road on Friday when a white four-door sedan pulled up alongside her, deputies said.
A man grabbed the victim from behind and forced her into the back seat of the vehicle, which quickly sped off her still inside, according to investigators.
Two other suspects were also inside the car. They allegedly held the victim and sexually assaulted her while they drove through several residential areas.
After about an hour, the victim was pushed out of the vehicle near the school campus, deputies said.
“I feel very sick for her and for her family,” said resident Lori Parks. “I've never felt unsafe here… I have a 13-year-old son who walks around here all the time. I've never really felt worried about him.”
She says that will now change.
“I won't let my son walk to school anymore. He goes to Oak Crest down the street,” said Parks. “I guess it can happen anywhere, but it really will make me a lot more conscious.”
Resident Bob Turner says this incident really hits home.
“We are seven houses down from the Ocean Knoll elementary school. We are approximately four blocks away from The Oak Crest Junior High School,” Turner said.
The first suspect who allegedly pulled the girl into the car is described as Hispanic, age 20-32, 6 foot tall with a thin build, brown eyes, thin mustache, light brown complexion and shaved head. He had a tattoo on the back of his head (possibly a "6" or "619") and was wearing a black long sleeve shirt and blue baggy jeans.
The second suspect is described as Hispanic, age 20-32, 5 foot 8 inches to 5 foot 10 inches tall with light brown eyes, a medium build, a dark brown complexion with short light brown hair. He’s described as having some acne on his face, protruding ears, a small goatee and was wearing a white t-shirt and blue shorts.
The driver of the vehicle is described as Hispanic, age 20-32, 5 foot 8 inches to 5 foot 10 inches tall with green/hazel eyes, a medium build, a dark brown complexion, short light brown hair, mustache and goatee. He was wearing a dark blue t-shirt and possibly had a scar on the right side of his neck.
The vehicle is described as an older white four door mid size sedan with a squared off back and tinted rear windows.
If you have any information regarding this case you’re asked to contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200.