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Child sexually assaulted in Chandler after being lured from bus stop, suspect on the loose

By KTVK/KPHO, Kim Powell

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    CHANDLER, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) — Chandler police say a young boy was sexually assaulted after being lured away from his bus stop late last month.

Authorities say the assault happened on July 29, when a child said he had been lured from his Islands Elementary School bus stop by a man driving a golf cart just after 7 a.m. Police say the suspect took him to a nearby apartment complex near McQueen and Warner roads and assaulted him.

A woman who lives in the apartment complex said she normally sees a lot of kids near the bus stop, which is next to a playground. “During the school time it’s probably 15 to 20 that stand out here and apparently the letter said that, from what the little boy said, there was some ruse that allowed the guy to lead him away from the bus stop,” said Britney Matthews. “I guess he was in a golf cart so I think the kid might have assumed he was maintenance or something, I don’t know. So he was lured away from the bus stop and assaulted somewhere else on the property.”

The suspect was described as a white or Hispanic man with dark hair and dark eyes. He was seen riding a black golf cart and was wearing a dark blue or black colored shirt with letters on it, and dark pants that were possibly blue. Police say that despite maintenance workers frequently riding the carts and wearing similar clothing, they are currently looking for leads that aren’t apartment complex staff.

“If it’s not an employee of the apartment, which they’re saying it’s not, it’s kind of scary that someone is using that as a familiar person or as a familiar thing that kids see all the time in the complex to lure them away,” Matthews said.

Arizona’s Family obtained a statement from Gilbert Public Schools:

We were notified by Chandler Police Department of an incident that involved one of our students, off campus, at an apartment complex in Chandler. That same day we sent a communication to our families at that school, sharing as much information as we could with approval from Chandler PD, in order to keep our families informed.

They also sent a letter to parents saying that they are asking parents and students to walk in groups, pay attention to their surroundings, and remind children to avoid talking to strangers. “The safety of our students is always a top priority for us, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Islands. We are here to help,” the letter said.

It’s unclear if anyone has been questioned yet as part of the investigation.

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