LANCASTER – Additional patrols have been assigned to the area surrounding El Dorado Elementary School, after a student was approached and harassed while on her way to school Friday morning, authorities said.
The incident happened around 8:04 a.m. at El Dorado Park, located at 361 East Pondera Avenue in Lancaster, according to Lt. Paul Pfrehm of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.
A man, identified as 21-year-old Lancaster transient Jahlay Thompson, allegedly approached a 12-year-old girl as she was walking through the park on her way to school, Pfrehm stated.
“The suspect spoke to the victim and attempted to entice the victim [to] ‘come with him,’” Pfrehm stated. “The victim rejected his attempts and continued walking westbound towards the school.”
Pfrehm said a school custodian witnessed the incident and stepped in to help.
“He observed the interaction between the victim and suspect and became concerned for the safety of the victim. The witness saw the victim was clearly upset and scared, and [he] walked her to school where law enforcement was contacted,” Pfrehm said.
Several patrol units responded to El Dorado Elementary and quickly located Thompson near the school.
Thompson was arrested around 9:30 a.m. on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child and is being held at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station jail.
“The Lancaster Sheriff’s Station School Safety Unit and station detectives have been notified and are investigating this incident,” Pfrehm said. “Additional patrols have been assigned to the area.”