Tauranga police are hunting for a man who assaulted a young
girl while she was walking to school.
The 13-year-old Tauranga Intermediate School student was
walking to school when she was attacked sometimes between
7.15 and 8am yesterday, said Senior Sergeant Lew Warner.
"The young lady told police that whilst she was walking along
Chadwick Road, Tauranga, she was approached by a male who
grabbed her from behind and pulled her towards him.
"This occurred near the intersection of Greerton Road and
Chadwick Road near Greerton Furnishings."
The victim managed to pull away and run along Chadwick Road.
She said no words were spoken by the offender, Mr Warner
He is described as a Caucasian male, six-feet tall and about
30 years of age. He had light brown hair and was wearing 3/4
pants and a basketball type shirt.
The attack follows a spate of recent abduction attempts.
On November 6 an 8-year-old girl was targeted in an abduction
attempt in Papamoa. A stranger tried to entice her into his
car as she rode her scooter the 500m from her school to her
And 26-year-old man is due to appear in Timaru District Court
today charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous
bodily harm following the suspected abduction and assault of
a 9-year-old Timaru boy last month.
Tauranga Intermediate principal Brian Diver said the student
involved in yesterday's attack did extremely well in the
"I don't know any details of what happened other than she
came to school, informed one of the teachers and our DP
phoned the police.
"The police have been here and interviewed her but that's as
far as I know."
He said the girl was not harmed in the incident and remained
at school for the rest of the day.
"I saw her running around the playground today ... and she is
back in class feeling comfortable and settled."
The school's deputy principal said the girl and a friend came
up to her just before school started at 8.30am.
"She came to me and said an incident had happened while she
was on her way to school. I got her to tell me what had
happened, then I rang the police. I didn't ask her any more
questions, it's not our duty, we leave that up to the
The deputy principal, who did not want to be named, wouldn't
say what appeared to have happened to the young girl.
"I can say she's doing okay."
The girl's parents were informed of the incident.
The school offered a health programme around keeping safe to
"This is the first time for a couple of years we've had
something like this happen. It's certainly not something we
like to hear about and fortunately it isn't something we have
to regularly deal with," the deputy principal said.
Police would like to speak to anyone who witnessed this
attack or saw anyone fitting the description of the offender.
He would also like to speak to anyone who has witnessed any
similar type behaviour in this area.
Mr Warner reminded people that it was important to report
suspicious behaviour immediately as it was better to prevent
crime from happening. He said with any crime, the sooner
police were informed, the better chance they had of
apprehending the offenders and being able to hold the
If anyone has any information, phone Tauranga police on 07
5774300 or anonymously via CRIMESTOPPERS (0800 555 111).
- Genevieve Helliwell, The Bay of Plenty Times