Campus trespasser sexually harasses student

February 14, 2013 8:56:00 PM PST
Crime Stoppers has a piece of video they want you to look at closely. It shows the man investigators say is sexually harassing female students at Austin High School in east Houston.

HISD police sent the video to Crime Stoppers because they really want to identify the intruder, but the incident also raises questions about security.

Ten days ago, a man walked into Austin High School undetected and wandered the hallways before accosting a female student. The breach sent the school into lock down.

"They told us on speaker that we will be on lock down, keep your kids inside class," senior student Anthony Contreras said.

Contreras remembers it well, though he never knew the reason behind it until we showed him and his mother the video.

HISD police released it in hopes of catching the intruder. Upon entry, the suspect approached a female student and asked for directions to the campus' front office. As the female escorted the suspect to the office, the man grabbed her by the waist and began to kiss her mouth and neck. The student struggled and was able to force the suspect away. He then pinned her to a wall, and made a second sexual advance. She was once again able to struggle away, and flee for safety.

Then two days later, he approached another female student on her way to school. At a 7:30am, a female student was walking to the same school when she noticed a man following her. The victim reported the suspect crossed the street in the 5400 block of Jefferson and gestured toward a vacant house stating, "Hey girl, you want to go with me."

It is concerning.

"At this point, we haven't been able to identify who he is," HISD Police Department Assistant Chief Robert Mock said.

And so is how easy it was for him to enter.

"You just want to trust that any school is doing as much as it can," parent Melissa Contreras said.

But now she isn't so sure. In fact, when we were at the school earlier Thursday, the gate was wide open. Mock told us they are locking more doors from the outside, and have added officers and they've also done a full security survey.

"Could you do better though to keep kids safe?" we asked him.

"I say you can always do better," he replied.

And after seeing this, Contreras hopes they are.

"That's not acceptable, but I trust that Austin and HISD will do all it can to make sure our children are safe," she said.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, standing between 5'5" to 5'6" tall, weighing approximately 200 pounds, with elaborate and distinguishing tattoos around his neck and shoulders.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspect(s) in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.