Police investigate sexual assaults near middle, high schools

Police investigate sexual assaults near middle, high schools

Two Madison students were groped in separate incidents Monday morning, but Madison police said they believe the same person might be involved.

Police said a couple of East High School students spotted a man following them near North Fourth Street and Johnson Street around 8:05 a.m. as they walked to school. As they sped up, he grabbed one by the buttocks in a parking lot behind the school, according to police.

The man was described as being possibly Asian, 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and clean shaven, with a thin build. He was wearing baggy clothing, including a dark hooded jacket with some type of orange design on it.

East High students say they didn’t know about the alleged attack in their parking lot. 

At 8:40 a.m. near Sherman Middle School, students were in physical education class running around the block when a man got out of a silver compact car near Ruskin and Boyd streets and touched one girl’s buttocks.

The man was described as being African-American or Hispanic, 35 years old and wearing dark clothing including a hooded sweatshirt.

Officials with the Madison School District said they immediately contacted parents and police, took the opportunity to talk to students about safety, and reviewed their own protocols.

“Anytime an incident such like this creates concern on the part of the parents that’s where the role of the school system is so important,” MMSD safety coordinator Luis Yudice said. “By ensuring we work with the MPD to maintain the safety of our schools, but also the safety of our neighborhoods.”

District officials wouldn’t say whether there were teachers present in either case because of the ongoing investigation, but they did say staff is usually outside during the start of school. They also said there are security cameras in East High School’s parking lot.

Anyone who spots a person matching these descriptions, or driving a similar car, particularly in school zones, is asked to call 911.