"1:58 PM: Seattle Police are searching for a man reported to have jumped out of the bushes near the east side of West Seattle High School, in the Walnut/Stevens vicinity. Police say the man was reported to have grabbed the arm of a passing female, who hit him and ran into the school. Police were not able to tell us if she is a student. She was not hurt. The man was described as white, 30s-40s, medium build, about 5-11, in a blue zipup jacket and black pants.
2:06 PM UPDATE: Right after we talked with SPD media-relations Det. Jeff Kappel about this incident, which we had heard on the scanner, SPD mentioned it on Twitter and described the victim as a student. (Added: The SPD Blotter version pulls back on that but says she’s 16.)
2:43 PM UPDATE: Here’s principal Ruth Medsker‘s note just sent to WSHS families, forwarded to us by a parent:
Today, one of our students was off campus during lunch when she was grabbed by a male stranger. She was able to break away and ran back to school, where she immediately reported it to our school administration. We called 9-1-1 and the police responded quickly.
Please be assured that we are committed to keeping our students safe while they are at school. We will continue to remind students to report these types of incidents to us immediately, and we also encourage you to discuss personal safety with your student."The comments include these:
I just talked to my 16 yo daughter who goes to WSHS AND leaves campus at lunch; she had no clue and wondered why the news bans were there. It’s slightly disturbing the school didn’t issue a warning to the kids.
A teachable moment for us parents. I know I’ll be reviewing safety with my daughter. I like the idea of a self-defense/awareness class geared towards teens.
There is a free self-defense class for women in West Seattle on December 13th, at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts in West Seattle.
It is imperative for ALL parents to talk to their children about what to do in this situation.
I also - again - encourage parents to read The Gift of Fear or Protecting the Gift by Gavin de Becker who is a noted national security expert. Both are good books that have very concrete things you can do.
I note that Mr. de Becker always urges people - in the absence of any weapon - to fight and run (which is exactly what the WSHS student did). Never allow someone to take you from Point A (an area where there may be others around to help/hear you) to Point B (with Point B being the place where the attacker controls the situation).