Mira Mesa High School, along with police, hosted a community safety meeting Tuesday on the heels of two recent sexual battery cases involving teenage victims attacked while walking to school.
Representatives from San Diego Unified School District's (SDUSD) Police Services and the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) were on hand to answer questions from the community regarding safety.
The meeting comes after two sex assaults in the area – one on Nov. 30 and another on Oct. 12.
SDPD Lt. Brent Williams said Tuesday the cases remain under investigation and police have not yet determined if they involved the same suspect. He said the description of the suspect in each case varies. The incidents, however, did happen within close proximity of one another and under similar circumstances, so police are trying to figure out if they’re connected.
The victim in the Oct. 12 assault was able to give enough of a description of the suspect so that investigators could put together a composite sketch. However, the second victim wasn’t able to recall details to create another sketch, Williams said.
According to the SDPD Sex Crimes Unit, the Oct. 12 incident happened around 6:35 a.m. as a 15-year-old girl was walking alone on Hillery Drive from her house to Mira Mesa High School.
Police said an unknown man approached the teenager from behind and began talking to her. Then, he sexually battered the victim. The victim's mother described the crime during Tuesday's meeting.
"Someone had come up to her and started a conversation, a few little basic questions about where do you go to school, do you have a boyfriend, how old are you; and then reached his arm around her as a side hug and groped her breast," said Stephanie Enclade.
The suspect was last seen walking southbound through an apartment complex on Hillery Drive.
Police said the man was described as 5-foot-2 with a normal build and short, dark hair. He was around 42-years-old and wore a light blue short-sleeved shirt and baggy jeans. He spoke with a thick Spanish accent.
In the Nov. 30 case, investigators said a 14-year-old girl was walking alone westbound on Flanders Drive from her house to Mira Mesa High School at around 6:30 a.m. when a stranger walked up to the teen and started talking to her. He then allegedly came up behind her, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her.
"The victim was really traumatized by it. She froze and he let go of her and he ran into a residential complex nearby," said SDPD Lt. Tu Nguyen.
In that incident, police said the suspect was described as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-7 with a normal build and short, dark hair. He had a dark complexion and spoke with a Spanish accent. The victim told police her attacker appeared to be between 35 and 40 years old.
The investigation is ongoing.
SDPD told NBC 7 they are currently investigating five cases similar in nature.
Anyone with information can reach out to SDPD’s Sex Crimes Unit at (619)531-2210 or Crime Stoppers at (888)580-8477.